Dr. Kotter, A Leading Advocate And Educator

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John Kotter, a leading advocate and educator in change initiatives, expresses two essential characteristics that must be present in any change initiative. First, any change that is considered to be useful and necessary must go through a multi-step process that will transcend obstacles in its way. Second, it is essential that any change initiative must be lead by effective leadership (Kotter, 1996). However, any leader in a change initiate must reconcile the reality that a major component to mankind’s instinctive nature is that people have an inherent need for predictability and order (Hogan, 2007). Leaders must, therefore, consider that initiatives may be experienced in ways that contradict this basic need leading to employee resistance (Bernerth, 2011). Considering such a potential obstacle, Kotter developed an eight-stage change process to guide organizations through initiatives in ways that may retain employee stability and enable employees to maintain a sense of identity and understanding (Huy, 1999). John Kotter, however, is not a pioneer on the topic of change initiatives. Though Kotter’s model is likely the most recognized model for organizational change initiatives, Kurt Lewin may be the first to have presented the issue of social change initiatives as he developed a three-step planned change approach. In this paper, Lewin’s three-step model will be utilized to consider a change initiative for a small group ministry in a Christian church in the Phoenix area.

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