Kotter’s eight stages of change has been around for a while however it is as relevant now as it was when he first published it.
Incorporating last weeks post ‘Inspiring Change in an Organisation’ will help with the buy-in of change. This adds a lot of gravitas to the change process.
- The first stage of Kotter’s model is ‘Create a sense of urgency’ Craft and use a significant opportunity as a means for exciting people to sign up to change their organisation. Using the Golden Circle Model to help craft the message and focusing on the ‘why’ will go a long way to succeeding in this step and building the important momentum
- The key is that change must follow this pattern, you can’t skip steps. There is a temptation to do a subset of these and get frustrated with the lack of progress.
I have been involved in a lot of change in large corporates and the ones that get it right use this model or a variation of it. The ones that get it wrong try to skip steps in the belief that it is a faster route to achieving the change they need. In almost all cases it causes chaos and the change fails and takes longer to implement. My advise is work through the steps and aim to implement each step as fast as possible will give better outcomes than skipping steps.
Over decades, Dr. Kotter observed the behavior and results of hundreds of organizations and thousands of leaders at all levels when they were trying to transform or execute their strategies. He identified and extracted the success factors and combined them into a methodology, the 8-Step Process. He then founded a firm of experts, Kotter International, to implement the approach across a diverse range of organizations.
Step 1 Create a Sense of Urgency: Craft and use a significant opportunity as a means for exciting people to sign up to change their organization.
Step 2 Build a Guiding Coalition: Assemble a group with the power and energy to lead and support a collaborative change effort.
Step 3 Form a Strategic Vision and Initiatives: Shape a vision to help steer the change effort and develop strategic initiatives to achieve that vision.
Step 4 Enlist a Volunteer Army: Raise a large force of people who are ready, willing and urgent to drive change.
Step 5 Enable Action by Removing Barriers: Remove obstacles to change, change systems or structures that pose threats to the achievement of the vision.
Step 6 Generate Short-Term Wins: Consistently produce, track, evaluate and celebrate volumes of small and large accomplishments – and correlate them to results.
Step 7 Sustain Acceleration: Use increasing credibility to change systems, structures and policies that don’t align with the vision; hire, promote and develop employees who can implement the vision; reinvigorate the process with new projects, themes and volunteers.
Step 8 Institute Change: Articulate the connections between the new behaviors and organizational success, and develop the means to ensure leadership development and succession.