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Nancy Dearman

VICE CHAIRMAN

As a founding member and owner of Kotter International, Nancy brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to serve the company’s vision of helping millions of people to become better leaders. Over the past 25 years, Nancy has held various senior leadership roles within the organization and its predecessor, including CEO from 2010 to 2014. She is currently Vice Chairman where she is active in company-community relations, internal transformation efforts, and publishing. Nancy developed several websites that present John Kotter’s model on leading change and developed multiple partner relationships that distribute John Kotter’s concepts through corporate training programs, video production, and the web. She conducted in‐depth interviews with high-level executives from Fortune 500 companies to inform the research, advising and seminar work conducted by John Kotter. Prior to Kotter, Nancy served in marketing and market research roles in several companies and as a statistician in the U.S. government. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics from the University of Alabama in Huntsville, a Master of Arts in Statistics from The George Washington University and a MBA from Harvard Business School.

She lives in Boston, MA with her husband where they enjoy occasional visits from their two grown children.

Why did you decide to work at Kotter?

I actually did not have much of a choice. John Kotter is my husband and in 1991, he persuaded me to leave my job at a major financial company to manage the growing business, then called Kotter Associates.

What is the biggest impact you’ve seen take place at a client?

I was thrilled to observe the successful (and fast) transformation of a major pharmaceutical’s manufacturing plant that was struggling to meet both regulatory requirements and the world’s dire need for its products into one that won the highest praise from regulators while meeting the world demand and saving many lives.

If you weren’t working at Kotter, what would you be doing instead?

I’d be spending even more time with my volunteer work supporting brain health research and reducing the societal stigma associated with many brain conditions. I’m on the Board of an organization, One Mind, that is trying to change the culture of brain researchers to one in which broad data and information sharing across many kinds of brain diseases and conditions becomes the norm. I’m also on McLeans Hospital National Council and one of our major efforts is to reduce the stigma associated with brain diseases.

What is your proudest moment?

My proudest moment was about a year after I stepped down as CEO at Kotter International to see the company thriving under new leadership and realizing that what we had started would continue to grow and help many people around the world…because so much more is possible.

What’s got you thinking right now?

I’m reading a draft of John Kotter’s new working paper on what advances in brain science can teach us about how humans can generate success in their approach to organizational change. I’ll be excited to share it with the world when it is ready because there are important new ideas there that will help many people.

Share something about you that would most surprise people.

Believe it or not, I can’t carry a tune. Alas. But I deeply admire those who can and do.