John Kotter, Harvard Business School: The Principles, Practices, and Science of Change

Change is hard. And it never stops. The volatility, speed, and uncertainty that comes with change has been increasing exponentially over the past several decades, and organizations often have a difficult time keeping up and capitalizing on the opportunities that come with change. John Kotter is one of the preeminent voices on leadership and how companies can transform to keep pace with change. As Professor of Leadership, Emeritus, at the Harvard Business School and founder of Kotter International, a management consulting firm, Kotter is the author of 20+ books, including his latest, CHANGE: How Organizations Achieve Hard-to-Imagine Results Despite Uncertain and Volatile Times. Kotter joins the podcast to talk about why human beings and organizations have difficulty responding to change and what’s required to lead change in a complex, large-scale business environment.

Listen to this episode to learn:

  • Why organizational rules established to reduce risk — and our survival instincts — often hamper our ability to see, feel, and respond to change as rapidly as we need to in today’s world

  • How a “dual system” inside an organization harnesses the entrepreneurial leadership required for collaboration and innovation, as well as the structures and rules meant to maintain efficiency and keep things running reliably

  • Why a high sense of urgency is critical to undertake major change

  • Why a “burning platform” is a great way to catch people’s attention but won’t keep them motivated for the long-term to solve complex business or social issues like climate change

  • Why data can ensure you’re “not fooling yourself” but can also lead to information overload and anxiety

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