Kotter Analysis

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Kotter’s 8-step change model

John Kotter introduced his 8-step change process in his 1995 book, “Leading Change”. According to Kotter – the eight steps to transforming your organization are as follows

1 Create urgency

Kotter suggests that for change to be successful, 75% of a company’s management needs to support the change. Therefore, it is essential to develop a sense of urgency around the need for change. This involves extensive internal dialogue regarding the market and competitor environments. This can involve a full SWOT analysis, scenario planning and full deployment of all the strategic planning tools.

2 Form a guiding coalition

Managing change is not enough; change has to be led. Building the momentum for change requires a strong leadership and visible support from key people within the organisation. The coalition will involve a wide representation of the formal and informal power-base within the organisation. By working as a team, the coalition helps to create more momentum and build the sense of urgency in relation to the need for change.

3 Develop a vision and strategy

A drive for change without a clear focus wil rapidly fail unless you develop a clear vision of the future that is accompanied with a clear description about how things will be different in the future.

4 Communicate the vision

Kotter emphasises the need to communicate at least 10 times the amount you expect to have to communicate. The vision and accompanying strategies and new behaviours need to be communicated in a variety of different ways. This goes beyong the “special announcement” meetings and involves frequent and informal face-to-face contact with people. Email is not the appropriate communication vehicle -- except in support of prior face-to-face contact.

5 Empwer action and removal of obstacles

This is the stage where your change initiative moves beyond the planning and the talking, and into pratical action. This step also includes getting rid of obstacles to change such as unhelpful structures or systems.

6 Plan for and create short-term wins

Kotter advises that an early taste of vistory in the change process gives people a clear sight of what the realised vision will be like. This is important as a counter to critics and negative influences who may otherwise impede the progress of your initiative. It is also important to recognise and reward all those people who make these early gains possible.

7 Consolidate improvements and produce more change

Kotter argues that many change initiatives fail because voctory is declared too early. An early win is not enough. This is the time to increase the activity, and changes all systems and structures and processes that don’t fit with the change initiative, and bring “new blood” into the coalition.

8 Another change in the future

Kotter says that for any change to be sustained, it needs to become embedded inthe new way, which is culture. This is the step to ensure that everyone understands that the new behaviours lead to corporate success.

The model addresses some of the power issues in making change happen, highlights the importance of a “felt need” for change in the organisation, and emphasises the need to communicate the vision and keep communication levels extremely high throughout the process.

Strengths

-- It sets out a clear leadership roadmap

-- It is energy based and addresses the emotional imperative of momentum

-- It outlines key steps to build and sustain that momentum.

Weakness

-- It is action based and tactical and does not go far enough in pointing out the specifics of how to achieve clarity of vision and an executable strategy to get from vision to realisation of the benefits of the change initiative.

-- It is all about organisational change and does not recognise or address the personal transition that accompanies that change.

== According Cameron Change...
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