Kotter’s Model of Change: What Is It and How Can It Benefit Your Organization?

Kotter’s Model of Change: What Is It and How Can It Benefit Your Organization?
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We live in a world where change is everywhere we look. In fact, our very existence is defined by change, particularly our ability to meet changing circumstances.

From a business perspective, change is introduced to help organizations stay competitive in rapidly advancing markets. Whether that’s with new initiatives or technological improvements, companies are constantly innovating to accommodate ongoing changes.

If you’re looking to transform your business operations, no matter how big or small, you’d be wise to take a measured approach. Too often organizations rush into the unknown, and this can leave companies to fall flat on their face.

So how do you overcome the scale of the challenge in front of you? This is a crucial consideration when staff feel intimidated and uneasy, to safeguard them from dejection. When your team doesn’t understand the changes being implemented, they’ll be uninspired to embrace them.

To avoid this common pitfall, a great approach you can implement is Kotter’s Model of Change. His eight-step change process revolutionized the concept of change, particularly how it can be managed for positive effect.

If you’re intrigued to follow an organized approach to change, Kotter’s Model of Change is fantastic for guidance, especially when tailored to individual circumstances. To give you a better understanding of how you can take advantage of this great procedure, this articles has collected eight great steps for implementing change.

To assist you further, check out these great tools and techniques for mastering change management.

A Sense of Urgency

If you’re serious about change, there is a much better chance it will be taken seriously. By creating a sense of urgency, you’ll spark the motivation to help your organization progress.

A great place to start is by opening an honest and convincing dialogue, documenting the latest goings on in the marketplace. This will help your team understand why change is necessary, and how it’s essential your organization adapts to keep up with the competition.

By simply talking about change, you’ll harbor a sense of urgency which will manifest itself.

Form a Coalition

Managing change is one thing, but endorsing change from the top-down is another. Change needs to be led and passionately supported by leaders, who can unite as a coalition to guide your organization in the right direction.

With a powerful core of change champions at the helm of your initiative, staff will feel incentivized and inspired to follow suit. Your influential team can comprise people from various roles, and should work as a team to carry momentum through.

Vision

Change is nothing without a firmly rooted vision, which can essentially be a collection of the ideas you’ve brainstormed within your organization.

Concepts should link succinctly so staff can grasp an overall perspective, which will serve as a guiding light to transcendence. With a vision in place, staff will understand why they’re being asked to do something, meaning they’ll be more likely to embrace their role in the change.

Communication

Once you’ve established a vision, you should communicate it organization-wide. It’s all well and good having a vision, but if it’s not communicated powerfully and frequently, it can easily get lost in a sea of other daily duties.

Talk about your vision at every opportunity, aligning it with problem solving and decision making. With a vision that’s kept at the forefront of people’s memories, you’ll increase the likelihood people remember and follow it.

Demonstrate the behavior you want from others, which can be achieved when you lead by example. Communication is arguably the most important aspect of Kotter’s Model of Change, otherwise your initiative will fall on deaf ears.

To enhance communication further, why not check out one of these engaging change management exercises!

Obstacles

Obstructions to change are commonplace, but it’s how you counteract them that defines the success of your change process.

Some staff will naturally resist change, but what measures do you have in place to overcome? Continually assess barriers to change, and eliminate obstacles that hold you back. This will help you progress in the right direction.

Short-Term Wins

When staff can hit achievable milestones and are celebrated for reaching common goals, they’ll be motivated to align their daily duties with overarching objectives of change.

You can give your employees a taste of victory with incentives, celebrating quick wins so they can discover a real route to progression. There should be room for failure, with an advanced focus on motivating your team for the greater good.

Build On Change

Though victory is important, never celebrate too early! Many change initiatives fail when people perceive the hard work to be done. Quick wins are designed to indicate the beginning times, but behaviors should be reinforced if you’re looking to achieve long-term change.

Always look for improvements, and build on new opportunities until change is embedded in company culture.

Anchor Changes

To make change become the new status quo, it should become one of the core values within your organization.

Your change values should be highlighted in daily duties, with continuous efforts to strengthen change across every faction of the organization.

For change to have a solid place in organizational culture, it should continue to be supported from the top-down. If you lose the support of influential people, you could easily end up back where you started.

Hopefully you now understand Kotter’s Model of Change, and can accommodate these principles during transformative times.

Christopher Smith
Chris is the Lead Author & Editor of Change Blog. Chris established the Change blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Change Management.
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