Kotter’s 8-Step Model of Change

To stay relevant within the highly competitive business world, your organization needs to embrace change. To implement change powerfully and successfully, John Kotter came up with the following 8-step model.

A Harvard Business School Professor, John Kotter, developed an 8-step model that could be used to drive organizational changes. This model of change was developed after research on 100 organizations that were going through significant changes. Notably, the change model is observable in every form of organizational psychology, especially in the business world.  

The 8-Step Model of Change

To stay relevant within the highly competitive business world, your organization needs to embrace change. To implement change powerfully and successfully, John Kotter came up with the following 8-step model: 

Creating an Urgency

Urgency can be created by first identifying and highlighting any potential threats to change within the organization. Additionally, you want to highlight any possible repercussions that might come up in the future. Further, consider examining the opportunities which you can take advantage of through effective interventions. 

As a leader, you want to initiate honest dialogues and discussions to understand the prevalent issues within the organization. Finally, you want to request the involvement and support of key individuals within the industry who should help identify any problems you might need to address as you accelerate change. 

Forming Powerful Guiding Coalitions

A guiding coalition comprises individuals within the organization whom you believe could be instrumental in leading effective change. For successful change, you want to form powerful coalitions that work as a team. This will require that you consistently look at the team to find weak links within the coalition. Altogether, your guiding coalition requires that you involve many influential people from your organization’s various functional departments. 

Developing a Vision and Strategy

As you seek to develop a vision and a strategy, you first want to determine the organization’s core values. This should help you choose the ultimate strategy that will help realize change within the organization. It is paramount that the members of the change coalition understand the vision as this will help them come up with effective change strategies. 

Communicating the Vision

After coming up with a vision and strategy for the change endeavor, you want to communicate these powerfully and convincingly. It would be best if you connect these visions with critical aspects, for instance, training. Overall, it would be best if you handled the communication honestly. 

Removing Obstacles

As you enact change, you want to create organizational processes and structures that support the process. Additionally, you want to check for any obstacles continuously. This proactive approach should also involve rewarding individuals within the organization that support the process of change. 

Creating Short-Term Wins

Motivation is crucial as change can be gruesome. Creating short-term wins can give you and your team a feeling of victory, especially during the early stages of change. To create short-term wins, you want to have many short-term targets which are achievable and have lesser possibilities of failure. Finally, consistently reward the contributions of all the parties involved in reaching these targets. 

Consolidating Gains

Throughout the change process, you want to continuously analyze all success stories and individual experiences. Altogether, these are considered gains that will play a significant role in keeping everyone within the team motivated. 

Anchoring Change in the Corporate Culture

For all the change initiatives you undertake, you want to highlight the successes consistently. Further, it is important that you include change in the organizational culture. This will require that you proactively support the change coalition and the leaders undertaking the change strategies you come up with. 

Tips to Implement Kotter's Model of Change to Accelerate Change Within an Organization

Change is no longer optional if your business is to remain competitive. But adopting change can be an overly intimidating prospect. Besides, when done wrong, change can be highly unsustainable. How then as an organization can you implement Kotter’s 8-step model of change to accelerate change within your organization? 

Incentivize Change

Providing incentives provokes change. These incentives make your employees want to be part of the changes as they are aware of the benefits. An example of incentives you can use would be empowering your employees with different titles. 

Provide Proper Tools

To effectively drive change, you and your team require practical change management tools. Additionally, you need a structured way to apply the tools. For instance, you can consider flowcharts as a way to visualize the various processes involved throughout the change process. An additional tool you could consider as part of your change management is culture mapping. The latter should help you visualize the company’s culture and how this can help you along the change process. 

Recognize Past Successes

Recognizing the successes of your employees not only shows them they are valued, but can increase morale and motivate them to continue performing effectively. Find ways to reward employees that work hard, show potential and contribute to positive change.

Hire Intelligently

While hiring, you want to look for individuals whom you believe could help drive the change you are trying to see. Specifically, you want to look for individuals whom you think are flexible and would aptly adapt to changes. Additionally, you want to hire individuals who are open to working within strategic teams. 

Change management coaching is essential as it provides practical interventions that help managers and leaders enact the change they want to see. While Kotter’s 8-step change model provides the steps through which the change can be enacted, coaching helps improve the readiness levels and builds the organization’s capacity as it pertains to change.

Involving a coach throughout the change process provides you with the support that should see the approach be holistic. Sounding Board’s coaches can help business leaders like yourself optimize their roles through personalized coaching solutions. These coaching solutions are tailored to meet the individual goals of your organization. Overall, we are well equipped to help you along strategic change. We are happy to talk to you about how our virtual and scalable enterprise solutions can help you rapidly and effectively enact change within your organization. Reach out and request a demo today! 

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