MNGT 5590 Organizational Behavior
Dr. Victoria Bohrer
March 1, 2011
John P. Kotter’s “Leading Change” is the quintessential book for any organization looking to successfully bring about change in the workplace. As many of us know, change is never easy, but Leading Change helps by offering a plan of action. Leading Change has been used by many organizations, both large and small as a road map, to establish new policies successfully and with minimal resistance. The book offers a step by step process to introduce and successfully inplement changes. The book describes eight necessary steps for implementing change, as well as eight mistakes that can be detrimental to change. Those stages are: 1) Establishing a sense of urgency, 2) Creating the guiding coalition 3) Developing a vision and strategy, 4) Communicating the change vision, 5) Empowering Employees for Broad based action, 6) Generating short-term wins, 7) consolidating Gains and Producing More change, and 8) Anchoring new approaches in the culture. Each of the eight stages or errors relates to a business concept encountered daily, such as those described in many business textbooks. Specifically, Organizational behavior and Management by John M. Ivancevich, Robert Konopaske, and Michael t. Matteson, offers an in depth look into many of those same business concepts mentioned in Kotter’s eight step process. There are concepts in the textbook that directly relate to Kotter’s eight stages of change and there is a chapter in the book that correlates with each stage. Concepts described in the book such as; organizational culture, motivation, groups and teams, empowerment, communication, among many others. The integration between Kotter’s book and the textbook is quite evident and will be explained more deeply throughout the paper.
Stage 1: Establishing a Sense of urgency
The first and possibly most important stage of Kotter’s process is, establishing a sense of urgency. The stage describes the importance of showing employees the urgency of the need for change. Organizations must show employees that the changes are time sensitive, are effective immediately, and that complacency will not be tolerated. Complacency is one of the most common issues when creating change, hence why it is error #1: Allowing too much complacency. Throughout the chapter, Kotter describes the importance of urgency and negative effects of complacency, when it comes to change. He states, “With complacency high, transformations usually go nowhere because few people are even interested in working on the change problem. With urgency low, it’s difficult to put together a group with enough power and credibility to guide the effort or to convince key individuals to spend the time necessary to create and communicate a change vision”(Kotter, 36). The textbook didn’t relate directly to stage one, but the textbook did discuss some other obstacles to the change process. The textbook gave a more detailed reasoning as to “why” employees may not see the urgency of the change and “why” they often choose to be complacent. Chapter 17, titled managing organizational change and innovation, talks about resistance to change and specific reasons for the resistance. People often fear the unknown and potential outcomes of said change. In order to combat resistance, the book offers two solutions: one- provide a reason for the change that is to take place, and two- “the more involved people at all levels of the hierarchy are in change planning, implementation, and monitoring, the higher the likely of success” (Ivancevich, 522) Stage 2: Creating the guiding coalition
This stage focuses on the importance of teamwork and working together effectively. It also discusses the importance of developing the “right” team that will work well together and produce a good “product”. Teamwork is a great way to get work done quickly, but if you want a quality “product” as the outcome,...