CHANGE MANAGEMENT MODELS: KOTTER 8 STEP CHANGE MODEL

There are several models for change management that can help better leaders’ teams. Let us take a look at one of the most commonly applied change models used:

Kotter 8 Step Change Model:

The Kotter Model is probably the most used change management model in the last decade. Even companies like GE adopted the Kotter model as part of their Six Sigma change management curriculum. This model was developed by John Kotter, a professor at Harvard Business School and author of multiple bestselling books on management. According to Kotter, change management needs to follow an eight step process:

• Establishing a Sense of Urgency – Business leaders need to eliminate a sense of complacency or minimize the impact. However, this is not as easy as it sounds. Most company cultures reward cautious managers, and it is very difficult for them to increase urgency levels all at once. Kotter suggests a few ways to raise the urgency level: by creating a crisis, eliminating obvious examples of excess, setting stretch and/or unattainable performance goals, and so forth

• Creating the Guiding Coalition – Kotter states that it is impossible for one individual, however powerful he or she is, to develop the right vision and communicate it to large number of people, remove obstacles, create quick wins, and be able to lead and manage changes across the entire organization. Building a strong guiding coalition is essential to any organizational changes.

• Developing a Vision and Strategy – Kotter defines vision as a picture of the future and explains why that future needs to be created. An effective vision clarifies the direction of change and why it is required

• Communicating the Change Vision – Any transformational activity achieves its full potential when everybody within an organization has a common understanding of the goals and direction. However, in reality managers usually under communicate. Having a simple message reduces the time and effort required towards effective communication.

• Empowering Employees for Broad Based Action – This step includes removing structural barriers and providing employees with the needed training. Leaders need to ensure there is incentive for employees to make the change. At the same time, any issues with supervisors’ resistance to change needs to be promptly addressed as well.

• Generating Short-term Wins – Major changes usually take a lot of time. However, except for the zealous believers, most everybody expects to see the evidence the change is delivering the result. In our experience we have found that this had almost always made the difference between a successful and failed continuous improvement initiative.

• Consolidating Gains and Producing More Change – Business leaders must not start celebrating too early. If they let up before the job is done, critical momentum is lost and the change may actually regress.

• Anchoring New Approaches in the Culture – When initiatives are led by senior business leaders and the transformation program was ever visible any cultural influence that might be incompatible with the changes gets overwhelmed. However, as soon as the focus gets shifted, the culture starts to reassert

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