John Kotter

World's Outstanding Authority on Change Management.

The world's outstanding authority on leadership, management culture and change - why it's speeding up and why you can't afford to ignore it.

Videos of John Kotter

Speaker Profile

About John Kotter

When John Kotter speaks, business leaders hear him. He forms an instant connection with managers which he puts down to the time he spends listening and talking to people in the field. 95% of what he does is story led and he tells very convincing stories.
John Kotter was born in 1947. He took his BSc and MSc at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science followed by a Doctorate in Business Administration at the Harvard Business School. He joined the faculty in 1972 and became Professor in 1980 at the age of 33, one of the youngest people ever to do this. He lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Ashland, New Hampshire, with his wife and children.

Awards, Accolades, Achievements, Honours

  • Ranked 34 in the Thinkers50 list of top business gurus 2011.
  • Number 1 "leadership guru" in America 2001, Business Week magazine.
  • In 2009 The Times ranked him amongst the 50 most important business thinkers in the world.
  • Lifetime Achievement Award by ASTD (American Society for Training & Development) 2009
  • In 2007, his video "Succeeding in a Changing World" was named best video training product of the year by Training Media Review.
  • Leading Change was named the Number 1 management book of the year by Management General 1998 and one of "The 25 Most Influential Business Management Books" by "TIME Magazine" (
  • Matsushita Leadership won first place in the Financial Times, Booz-Allen Global Business Book Competition for biography/autobiography 1998.
  • He has also won the McKinsey Award for Best Harvard Business Review Article, an Exxon Award for Innovation in Graduate Business School Curriculum Design and Johnson, Smith & Knisely Award for New Perspectives in Business Leadership.


John Kotter spent over 30 yrs at Harvard studying change before forming his own organization Kotter International which helps leading companies implement their change strategies. He believes that companies need to understand that the pace of change is not going to slow down and that they need to be agile and adaptable to make the most of turbulent times. He first outlined his 8 step plan for dealing with change in his best-selling book Leading Change in 1996 and developed it into an allegory about penguins in the book Our Iceberg is melting. Since then there has been The Heart of Change based on real life case studies. His latest work, Accelerate was published in the Harvard Business Review in November 2012 and proposes a radical solution for how organisations can develop the agility they need.
He has also written about leadership, culture and careers as well as a biography of the Japanese industrialist Konosuke Matsushita founder of Panasonic and known to many Japanese as "the god of management". In total his books have sold over 3 million copies and have been printed in over 150 foreign language editions.

His academic articles in the Harvard Business Review have sold a million and a half copies and have been reprinted many times. His influence has been hailed by BusinessWeek, Fortune, The Financial Times and countless other publications around the world

Current/Past Roles and Positions

  • Author, Harvard Business School professor and founder of Kotter International.
  • Believes, If you get the challenge of change right, the opportunities are unreal.
  • Author of more than 18 books including the highly influential. Leading Change. The global manual for managing change.
  • Ranked 34 in the Thinkers50 list of top business gurus 2011.

Speaking Style

Academic and thought-provoking.

Speaking Topics

  • Leadership
  • Leadership vs. Management
  • Leading Change
  • Change


"Your talk was instrumental in helping me raise the leadership bar." - Douglas R Conant, President & CEO Campbell Soup Company

"Kotter International has helped us fundamentally change the way we do business. The results have been extraordinary." - Tom Mendoza, Vice Chairman. Net App

Books By John Kotter

  • Leading Change (1996)
  • Matsushita Leadership (1997)
  • Corporate Culture and Performance (1992)
  • The General Managers (1982)
  • Power and Influence (1985)
  • The Leadership Factor (1988)
  • A Force for Change (1990)
  • Our Iceberg is Melting (2006)
  • A Sense of Urgency (2008)
  • Buy-In: Saving Your Good Idea from Getting Shot Down (2010)
  • Latest work ?Accelerate? published in the Harvard Business Review in November (2012)
  • What Leaders Really Do (1999)
  • The Heart of Change (2002)

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