C10.7.3.3 John P Kotter’s ‘eight steps to successful change’

 

American John P Kotter is a Harvard Business School professor and leading thinker and author on organizational change management. Kotter’s highly regarded books ‘Leading Change’ (1995) and the follow-up ‘The Heart Of Change’ (2002) describe a helpful model for understanding and managing change. Each stage acknowledges a key principle identified by Kotter relating to people’s response and approach to change, in which people see, feel and then change.

 

Kotter’s eight step change model can be summarised as:

 

  1. Increase urgency – inspire people to move, make objectives real and relevant.
  2. Build the guiding team – get the right people in place with the right emotional commitment, and the right mix of skills and levels.
  3. Get the vision right – get the team to establish a simple vision and strategy, focus on emotional and creative aspects necessary to drive service and efficiency.
  4. Communicate for buy-in – Involve as many people as possible, communicate the essentials, simply, and to appeal and respond to people’s needs. De-clutter communications – make technology work for you rather than against.
  5. Empower action – Remove obstacles, enable constructive feedback and lots of support from leaders – reward and recognise progress and achievements.
  6. Create short-term wins – Set aims that are easy to achieve – in bite-size chunks. Manageable numbers of initiatives. Finish current stages before starting new ones.
  7. Don’t let up – Foster and encourage determination and persistence – ongoing change – encourage  ongoing progress reporting – highlight achieved and future milestones.
  8. Make change stick – Reinforce the value of successful change via recruitment, promotion, new change leaders. Weave change into culture.

 

Kotter’s eight step model is explained more fully on his website www.kotterinternational.com.

 

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