Models of Successful Change: Belmon & Deal, Kottner and Fullan 
by Abdel Abuisneineh, Student
Concordia University - Chicago

        Reading through the three models made me feel like reading three articles written by three different contractors; each describing the process of constructing a high quality dwelling with stunning features and remarkable amenities that earned the dwelling the title of "successful model house". One contractor with engineering background focuses on describing the meticulous blueprints of the house foundations, strong quality walls & ceilings, and high quality materials used in the manufacturing of the sturdy house. In that process the contractor describes too how all of sturdy features combined with the convenient amenities such as pools, garages, and gated community; as well as the beautiful Georgian style of the house made it a successful model. Another contractor with sales background may focus on the convenient amenities of this sturdy dwelling, describing how the additional safe and beautiful features of the dwelling made it a successful model house.  The third contractor with a background in art may present the house in a poetic language describing the beautiful and exotic features of the dwelling, and in the process also may demonstrate the safety and strong features of this convenient dwelling that made it a successful model. At the end, all contractors are describing the same successful model house, but from different perspectives. 

        Successful change demonstrated in the Bolman and Deal (2008) four frames model, Kotter and Cohen (2008) eight stages model, and the three-phase model of Fullan (2007) have characteristics of the above analogy.  They all talk about the same thing: Effecting successful organizational changes. Each one of these authors has different perspectives, priorities, and ideology regarding change process. Also, each one is preaching to different audience. As a theorist of change, an ideologist, or perhaps as an academician I would get more involved conceptually when reading Fullan’s writings. Kottner’s model “makes sense” to the average audience or to freshman students in the school of organizational change.

        As a leader of change in business organizations I can better “comprehend and relate to” the usefulness and fitness of Bolman and Deal model. Its multidimensional features allow me to realize that change in every organization is not the same! I could visualize the nonlinearity action horizontally and vertically in the multidimensional change scenarios of organizational theatres that are depicted by the model! The model presents more dynamic and vigorous images of change philosophy and methodology. Glancing at all models you could tell that the model of Bolman and Deal (2008) clearly encompasses all elements depicted in the other two models. We cannot find this clarity in the inclusion of mental frames when discussing successful change process in the other models.


Bolman, L. G. and Deal, T. E. (2008). Reframing organizations: Artistry, choice, and leadership. San Francisco. CA: Jossey-Bass.

Fullan, M. (2007). The new meaning of educational change (4th ed.). New York, NY: Teacher College Press.

Kotter, J. P. (2007). Leading change: Why transformation efforts fail. Harvard Business Review. Retrieved on 2/28/2014 from


Author Notes: Leaders of change in the auto insurance quoting and brokerage business may be better by focusing on Belmon and Deal. It is more comprehensive and more practical in dealing with for-profit-businesses.
Posted 2:46 AM  View Comments

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