Managing Change v. Leading Change

A recent post shared information about ADKAR, a popular change management tool.

While ADKAR, and other well known change management theories such as Lewin’s Model or McKinsey’s 7s Model, have proved quite effective, one could argue that there is a difference between “managing” change and “leading” change.

If this distinction resonates with you, then you might like to learn more about John Kotter and his 8-step approach to “leading” change.

“Management makes a system work,” Kotter explains. “It helps you do what you know how to do. Leadership builds systems or transforms old ones.”

To illustrate a key difference in his approach, he speaks wholeheartedly about the need to win “both the minds of people and the hearts of people” when attempting a change initiative.

“The most effective change efforts are able to get people to not only think differently, but also feel differently,” he said.

Kotter’s 8 step process is pictured below:

Kotter model for leading change