John Kotter is a world-renowned change expert and change management guru. In 1995, his book Leading Change introduced his 8-step change process. Kotter believes that change needs to be lead. By leaders. Change is a leadership issue.
The Kotter 8-Step Change Model includes:
Step 1: Create Urgency
Kotter believes that 75% of an organization’s management needs to buy in to change succeed. An open and honest discussion needs to happen. People need to feel the need for change. That need can create urgency. That urgency will then begin to feed on itself.
Step 2: Form a Powerful Coalition
To lead change, you need to bring together a team of influential people within your organization. This coalition works as a team, creates more urgency, and builds momentum for the change. These people must be emotionally committed.
Step 3: Create a Vision for Change
A clear vision helps people understand why you’re asking them to change. The vision should be easy to understand and remember.
Step 4: Communicate the Vision
The success of your vision relies on effectively communicating the vision to the masses. Getting large scale buy in. A simple memo or special meeting are not enough. It needs to be talked about constantly. Leaders need to walk-the-talk.
Steve works with organizations during Step 4: Communicating Your Vision
Step 5: Remove Obstacles
Now that you have buy in, how easy is it for your people to execute your vision? Are there processes and structures blocking change? Remove barriers. Obliterate obstacles. This takes real diligence. Listening. Patience combined with urgency. Natural resistance tendencies combined with real obstacles will kill change.
Steve works with organizations during Step 5: Removing Obstacles
Step 6: Create Short-Term Wins
Success breeds more success. Success is motivating. Make sure your company gets some wins early in the change process. Find a quick win. Don’t give critics and naysayers an opening to hurt your change process.
Step 7: Build on the Change
Don’t declare victory too early. Real change runs deep. Roots need to go deep. Build upon each success with a new goal. Analyze what went right and what needs to be improved. Keep building.
Step 8: Anchor the Changes in Corporate Culture
For the change to stick, it must become part of the organization’s core. The values behind your vision need to become part of the culture. Both the companies leadership and the day-to-day work habits must continue to support the change.