Tuesday 4 November 2014

Implementing change

Following on from yesterday's blog on strategies for change I'd like to explore Kotter's 8 step process for leading change.

I was first introduced to Kotter's model whilst studying for my CIPS exams, and more recently whilst developing elearning modules on the subject. I do love his more recent analysis of the model 'our iceberg is melting' - after all I'm a sucker for a good metaphor. Not least because we don't get caught up in the context and detail of the situation we're personally applying it to, and can learn about the model and patterns of behaviour it's asking us to take on.

In the book Fred, a penguin, is tasked with the unenviable task of persuading his fellow penguins that the iceberg is melting and that action is needed.

Often when faced with what we believe to be an obvious change we can be faced with others who don't join us in our views. They don't want to change, they'll go out of their way to resist the change often with dire consequences.

In the book Fred takes his fellow penguins on a journey as he applies Kotter's 8 step process:
  • Establish a sense of urgency - the threat of your iceberg melting certainly is a great reason for countering complacency!
  • Create a guiding coalition - don't try to do it alone, and do ensure those with power and influence are involved.
  • Develop a change vision - if you're taking away one future what will the new one look like.
  • Communicate the vision for buy-in - people and penguins need to know and accept the alternative. (Much of the content of last week's blogs will provide more on how to achieve this.) 
  • Empower broad based action - remove barriers to taking action so those supporting the change can start making it a reality.
  • Generate short-term wins - a great way of getting momentum behind the new vision.
  • Never let up - complacency is never that far away especially if small changes make people think the threat has been reduced or eradicated all together.
  • Incorporate change into the culture - new traditions need to replace the old ones.
Consider a change you're currently involved in - which of the above might you want to focus on a little more?

Alison Smith
Inspiring change inside and out - when what you're doing isn't working

Tomorrow's blog will explore the ways in which people actively resist change.

1 comment:

  1. Kotter's model is certainly a very helpful list of things to consider and implement. The challenge is that it is often represented as a linear process, whereas in reality it is a mish/mash with different steps in different orders - or even at the same time.
    Don't anyone get the impression that change is a linear predictable process - that way is the route tot he 75% that fail!