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March 16, 2023
March 16, 2023

Defining Change

Defining Change

Some people enjoy the challenges and creativity provided by constantly changing circumstances. However, for many individuals, change has a negative connotation and is laden with risk and uncertainty. Yet in today’s workplace, change has become a standard component. As discussed in this week’s resources, having a process in place to address change, whether it is anticipated or unplanned, helps to ensure its success.

Take a moment to reflect on your own workplace experiences and think about the changes that you have witnessed. Then, review this week’s resources and Kotter’s eight-stage approach to leading change. To prepare for this Discussion, you should conduct additional research on the change process, using the Walden Library. As you do so, contemplate the following:

Consider the concept of change and think about what it means to you.

Think about the change process and the pitfalls that can occur. Reflect on a change experience that did not go well. At what stage in Kotter’s process did it fail?

When have you faced unexpected change in your career or personal life?

Note: You do not need to answer these points directly in your Discussion post, since they serve primarily to begin your thinking process. However, you must explain your reasoning as you formulate your formal response.

Now post a response that addresses the following:

  • As a manager, how will you both manage and lead change? What is the difference between managing and leading change? What do you conclude is the biggest challenge for an organization, a department, or a manager in keeping up with change?
  • Consider the possible kinds of change—for example, transformational, planned, unwelcome, or unexpected. How does the kind of change impact the change process? Which of Kotter’s eight stages would you need to approach differently depending on the type of change, and why?


Kotter, J. P., & Cohen, D. S. (2002). The heart of change. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.

Introduction, “The Heart of Change”

This introduction provides a brief overview of the eight-stage change process and discusses the proper flow of a change initiative. In addition, the authors highlight the specific behavioral changes that should be evident at each stage.

Kotter, J. P. (2012). Leading change. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.

Chapter 1, “Transforming Organizations: Why Firms Fail”

Chapter 1 describes eight common mistakes that organizations make that prohibit effective change.

Chapter 2, “Successful Change and the Force That Drives It”

Chapter 2 outlines the economic and social forces that drive change and then introduces Kotter’s eight-stage approach to leading change.


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