Our iceberg is melting : Kotter’s 8 stage change management model

John Kotter\’s web site \”Our iceberg is melting\”

John Kotter sets out 8 steps for managing change which managers and change leaders should follow if a change initiative is to succeed:

1) establish a sense of urgency
2) create a guiding coalition
3) develop a vision and strategy
4) communicate the change vision
5) empower employees for broad-based action
6) generating short-term wins
7) consolidate gains and produce more change
8) anchor new approaches in the culture

All concerned by the change initiative must understand why the change is necessary and that it has to happen urgently. If you don’t feel the change is urgent, you won’t feel it is important.
You then need a guiding colaition to sponsor and drive the change. This means a consensus between majors leaders in the organization. Many change initiatives fail because they lack support from decision makers or because some leaders don’t really agree and only give superficial commitment.
You then need to develop a vision as to where you want to go and how to get there. If you don’t have a vision of the future desired situation, you won’t be able to convince people to get fully on board. We may not like the proposed destination but we can go along with it. What many people can’t bear is not knowing where the change is supposed to lead.
Once you have your vision and your strategy, communicate it throughout the organization through your change champions.
You can then act; To implement the change, you need to empower team members at the appropriate level because employees throughout te organization need to feel they have still control of their destiny. Quite often, people will resist change because they feel they no longer have any control of their own destiny or because they feel disempowered. Give employees the power to implement the change at their level. This of course may slow down change but will be more effective in the long term.
Of course, to generate a positive momentum and demonstrate that the change delivers results, focus in particular on quick and easy wins. This will allow all to see that the changes deliver results and the direction is the right one.
Quite often, the pressure for change is such that the necessary effort is not made to consolidate the results of the quick wins and so the changes implemented are never embedded in the organization. This si why it is important to embed the changes before moving on to move significant changes. The more haste the less speed and a step by step change process is always better.
Finally, the new changes have to be embedded in the company culture and this means more communication and education of all to ensure that the changes are shared throughout the organization.
If you follow these 8 steps, you still have a lot to do but if you don’t, you reduce your chances of success greatly.

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