John Kotter’s 8 Steps of Leading Change

For leaders of organizations, managing change is an important strategic task, but 70% of all major change efforts in organizations fail.

So, the question for any change is: How can we make sure that our change project is successful?

Dr. Kotter has proven over his years of research that following The 8-Step Process for Leading Change will help organizations succeed in an ever-changing world:

1: Establishing a Sense of Urgency

Help others see the need for change and they will be convinced of the importance of acting immediately.

2: Creating the Guiding Coalition

Assemble a group with enough power to lead the change effort, and encourage the group to work as a team.

3: Developing a Change Vision

Create a vision to help direct the change effort, and develop strategies for achieving that vision.

4: Communicating the Vision for Buy-in

Make sure as many as possible understand and accept the vision and the strategy.

5: Empowering Broad-based Action

Remove obstacles to change, change systems or structures that seriously undermine the vision, and encourage risk-taking and nontraditional ideas, activities, and actions.

6: Generating Short-term Wins

Plan for achievements that can easily be made visible, follow-through with those achievements and recognize and reward employees who were involved.

7: Never Letting Up

Use increased credibility to change systems, structures, and policies that don’t fit the vision, also hire, promote, and develop employees who can implement the vision, and finally reinvigorate the process with new projects, themes, and change agents.

8: Incorporating Changes into the Culture

Articulate the connections between the new behaviors and organizational success, and develop the means to ensure leadership development and succession.

Summing-up: We have to work hard to change an organization successfully. If we’re too impatient, and if we expect too many results too soon, our plans for change are more likely to fail. When we plan carefully and build the proper foundation, implementing change can be much easier, and we’ll improve the chances of success.

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