01 Apr 2013

HBS Professor Emeritus John Kotter Wins McKinsey Award

Harvard Business Review article explains how companies can implement new strategies more quickly
John Kotter

BOSTON—Harvard Business School professor emeritus John P. Kotter has won the 2012 McKinsey Award from the Harvard Business Review and the management consulting firm McKinsey & Company. Established in 1959, the annual awards recognize the best articles published each year in the magazine.

Kotter took first-place honors for his November 2012 article "Accelerate!" In the article, he argues that traditional organizational hierarchies and processes, while effective at handling the operational needs of most companies, are too rigid to adjust to the quick shifts in today’s marketplace. Kotter offers a second, parallel “operating system” companies can use to develop and implement strategy with greater agility, speed, and creativity.

This year’s panel of judges included Angela Ahrendts, CEO of Burberry; Lubov Azria, chief creative officer of BCBG Max Azria Group; Max Azria, chairman and CEO of BCBG Max Azria Group; Regina Dugan, senior executive at Google; Jim Gibbons, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries International; Fred Hassan chairman of Bausch & Lomb; and Mark Hurd, co-president and director at Oracle.

Kotter joined the Harvard Business School faculty in 1972 and is now the Konosuke Matsushita Professor of Leadership Emeritus. He has authored 18 books, including Leading Change and The Heart of Change. His latest book, Buy-In, focuses on the problems associated with getting others engaged and committed to good ideas and provides solutions for dealing with attacks on good ideas by others.

Kotter is also co-founder of Kotter International, a leadership organization that helps Global 5000 company leaders develop the practical skills and implementation methodologies required to lead change in a complex, large-scale business environment.

Last year’s McKinsey Award winners included HBS professors Michael E. Porter and Rosabeth Moss Kanter. Porter was awarded first place with his co-author Mark Kramer, cofounder and managing director of FSG, a nonprofit consulting firm, for their January-February 2011 article "Creating Shared Value: How to Reinvent Capitalism." Second place went to Kanter for "How Great Companies Think Differently," which appeared in the November 2011 issue.


Cullen Schmitt

About Harvard Business School

Founded in 1908 as part of Harvard University, Harvard Business School is located on a 40-acre campus in Boston. Its faculty of more than 250 offers full-time programs leading to the MBA and PhD degrees, as well as more than 175 Executive Education programs, and Harvard Business School Online, the School’s digital learning platform. For more than a century, faculty have drawn on their research, their experience in working with organizations worldwide, and their passion for teaching, to educate leaders who make a difference in the world. The School and its curriculum attract the boldest thinkers and the most collaborative learners who will go on to shape the practice of business and entrepreneurship around the globe.