Saturday, 29 March 2014

Kotter's 8 step change model


Kotter's Eight-Step Model

According to John Kotter, 70 percent of all major change efforts in organizations fail because organizations do not take the holistic approach required to effect that change. Organizations can increase their chances of success in transformational change by following the Eight-Step Model.

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Step 1: Create a sense of urgency
First one needs to develop a sense of urgency around the need for change. This provides the spark to get things moving. It means trying to identify potential threats, develop scenarios about what could happen in the future, and examine possible opportunities; and then holding open, honest, and convincing dialogue about what's happening in the marketplace and with the competition.

Step 2: Form a guiding coalition
It is often important to convince people that change is necessary. This requires strong leadership and support from key people within the organization. To lead change, according to Kotter, one needs to bring together a coalition, or team of influential people, whose power comes from a variety of sources (job title, status, expertise, political importance, etc.). This "change coalition" needs to work as a team to continue to build urgency and momentum around the need for change.

Step 3: Create a vision for change
People need a clear vision to understand why they are being asked to do something new. When the leadership "paints" the new vision of change, people see for themselves what you're trying to achieve, and then the directives they're given tend to make more sense. One the vision is understood, create a well-defined strategy to execute that vision.

Step 4: Communicate the vision
It is necessary to communicate the vision to the organization frequently and powerfully. Embed the vision into everything the leader does. The leadership needs to "walk the talk" and demonstrate the kind of behavior that's expected of others.

Step 5: Empowering broad-based action
The structure for change needs to in place; continually check for any barriers to it. This means changing systems or structures that undermine that vision and structure for change. Get rid of obstacles and empower the people who execute the vision and help the change move forward.

Step 6: Create short-term wins
It is critical to have some quick wins. This will motivate employees in pursuit of the larger goal of change in the organization. Without this, critics and negative thinkers can slow down and hurt the change process.

Step 7: Build on the change
As Kotter notes, many change initiatives fail because victory is declared too early. An early win is not enough. To build on new initiatives, you need to change the systems, structures, and processes that don't fit into the overall new scheme. This can mean bringing "new blood" into the coalition. "Continuous improvement" must be the mantra, and each success or failure presents an opportunity to analyze what worked, what did not, and what can be improved.

Step 8: Anchor the changes in the corporate culture 
For any change to be sustained, it needs to become embedded in the organization's culture. The leadership should clearly articulate the connections between new behaviors and organizational success. The coalition team should talk about progress at every opportunity, telling success stories about the change process and how it can be repeatable across the organization.

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