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PSNet: Patient Safety Network
Journal Article

Leading change: why transformation efforts fail.

Kotter JP. Harvard Bus Rev  1995;73(2);59-67.

Kotter, a professor at Harvard Business School, outlines the eight stages of a successful change process, as well as common mistakes and pitfalls at each of the stages. These mistakes include not establishing a great enough sense of urgency, not creating a powerful enough guiding coalition, lacking a clear vision, under-communicating the vision by a factor of 10, not removing obstacles to implementation of the vision, not systematically planning for and creating short-term wins, declaring victory too soon, and not anchoring changes in the corporation’s culture. He uses examples of failures from transformation efforts in large and small businesses.