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There is still no better model for change than Kotter's


John Kotter says that the change process takes time and goes through several different phases in a successful change effort and that a mistake made during any phase of the change effort can have a negative impact on the organization. Kotter outlines an eight step process with suggestions to help organizations transform.

Kotter’s model is useful to understand that the change process takes time and is not something that happens overnight.

Steps Transformation Suggestions
1. Increase urgency
  • Examine market and competitive realities
  • Identify and discuss crisis, potential crisis, or major opportunities
  • Provide evidence from outside the organization that change is necessary
2. Build the Guiding Team
  • Assemble a group with enough power to lead the change effort.
  • Attract key change leaders by showing enthusiasm and commitment
  • Encourage the group to work together as a team
3. Get the Vision Right
  • Create a vision to help direct the change effort
  • Develop strategies for achieving that vision
4. Communicate for Buy-in
  • Use every vehicle possible to communicate the new vision and strategies
  • Keep communication simple and heartfelt
  • Teach new behaviors by the example of the guiding coalition
5. Empowering Action
  • Get rid of obstacles to the change.
  • Change systems or structures that seriously undermine the vision.
  • Encourage risk-taking and non-traditional ideas, activities, and actions.
6. Create short term wins
  • Plan for visible performance improvements.
  • Create those improvements.
  • Recognize and reward personnel involved in the improvements.
7. Do Not Let Up
  • Plan for visible performance improvements
  • Create those improvements.
  • Recognize and reward personnel involved in the improvements.
8. Make Change Stick
  • Articulate the connections between the new behaviors and corporate success.
  • Develop the means to ensure leadership development and succession.

From Publishers Weekly
Harvard Business School professor Kotter (A Force for Change) breaks from the mold of M.B.A. jargon-filled texts to produce a truly accessible, clear and visionary guide to the business world's buzzword for the late '90s change. In this excellent business manual, Kotter emphasizes a comprehensive eight-step framework that can be followed by executives at all levels. Kotter advises those who would implement change to foster a sense of urgency within the organization. "A higher rate of urgency does not imply everpresent panic, anxiety, or fear. It means a state in which complacency is virtually absent." Twenty-first century business change must overcome overmanaged and underled cultures. "Because management deals mostly with the status quo and leadership deals mostly with change, in the next century we are going to have to try to become much more skilled at creating leaders." Kotter also identifies pitfalls to be avoided, like "big egos and snakes" or personalities that can undermine a successful change effort. Kotter convincingly argues for the promotion and recognition of teams rather than individuals. He aptly concludes with an emphasis on lifelong learning. "In an ever changing world, you never learn it all, even if you keep growing into your '90s." Leading Change is a useful tool for everyone from business students preparing to enter the work force to middle and senior executives faced with the widespread transformation in the corporate world.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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