, 1996) has been observing this process for almost 30years. What intrigues him is why some leaders are able to take these tools and methodsand get their organisation to change dramatically - while most do not. How many timeshave we not seen somebody get very excited about some new tool? Yet two years laterthere is no performance improvement at all. Often because most of the organisation hasrejected the change needed to make it happen. When people need to make big changes significantly and effectively, Kotter finds thatthere are generally eight basic things that must happen: 1) INSTILL A SENSE OF URGENCY Identifying existing or potential crises or opportunities. 2) PICK A GOOD TEAM Assembling a strong guiding coalition with enough power to lead the change effort. And make them work as a team, not a committee! 3) CREATE A VISION AND SUPPORTING STRATEGIES We need a clear sense of purpose and direction. In less successful situations you generally find plans and budgets, but no vision and strategy; or the strategies are so superficial that they have no credibility. 4) COMMUNICATE As many people as possible need to hear the mandate for change loud and clear, with messages sent out consistently and often. Forget the boring memos that nobody reads! Try using videos, speeches, kick-off meetings, sessions in small units, etc. Also important is the teaching of new behaviours by the example of the guiding coalition 43
5) REMOVE OBSTACLES Get rid of anything blocking change, like bosses stuck in the old ways or lack of information systems. Encourage risk-taking and non- traditional ideas, activities, and actions. Empowerment is moving obstacles out of peoples' way so they can make something happen, once they've got the vision clear in their heads. 6) CHANGE FAST Little quick wins are essential for creating momentum and providing sufficient credibility to pat the hard-working people on the back and to diffuse the cynics. Remember to recognize and reward employees involved in the improvements. 7) KEEP ON CHANGING After change universities get rolling and have some wins, they don't stop there. They go back and make wave after wave of other actions necessary for long-term, significant change. Successful change leaders don't drop the sense of urgency. On top of that, they are very systematic about figuring out all of the pieces they need to have in place before they declare victory. 8) MAKE CHANGE STICK The last big step is nailing big change to the floor and making sure it sticks. And the way things stick is through culture. If you can create a totally new culture around some new way of managing, it will stay. It won't live on if it is dependent on one boss or a couple of enthusiastic people who will eventually move on. REFLECTION QUESTIONS 1. “Resistance to change is an irrational response.” Do you agree or disagree?
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