John Kotter’s 8-step Plan For Implementing Change

  1.  Establish a Sense of Urgency Examine the market and competitive realities. Identify and discuss crises, potential crises, or major opportunities. Eliminate obvious examples of corporate excess (i.e., company planes, catered lunches). Change won’t occur where there is complacency.
  2. Create the Guiding Coalition Pull together a group with enough power to lead the change, and urge them to work together as a team. No one person has the credibility, expertise, or skills to provide the necessary leadership alone.
  3. Develop a Vision and Strategy Provide a vision that gives the change effort direction and motivates people. Set stretch goals achievable through great effort. Give clearly focused goals, yet be vague enough to allow for individual initiative and flexibility. Develop strategies for achieving that vision.
  4. Communicate the Change Vision. Use every vehicle possible to get the message out-big or small meetings, memos, company newsletters, formal and informal interactions. Communicate the vision in terms that will be understood in a five-minute discussion. Make sure the behavior of key players in the change program consistently and constantly reinforces the vision.
  5. Empower Broad-Based Action Get rid of obstacles to change. Change those systems or structures that seriously undermine the vision. Emphatically encourage risktaking and non-traditional ideas, activities, and actions.
  6. Generate Short-Term Wins Plan for visible improvements and early evidence that sacrifices are worth it. Recognize and reward people who made wins possible.
  7. Consolidate Gains and Produce More Change Use increased credibility to change all systems, structures, and policies that don’t fit together and don’t fit the transformation vision. Hire, promote, and develop employees who can implement the vision. Reinvigorate the process with new projects, themes, and change agents.
  8. Anchor New Approaches in the Corporate Culture Firmly anchor changes into the culture by making sure that employees see how approaches to satisfying customers, improving productivity, etc., are linked to improved results. Also, be sure to alter promotion and succession to reflect the new vision.
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