Some people act like turtles when it comes to change. They already move slowly, and when they hear there are going to be changes, they stop, pull in their heads, legs and tails, and stop in their tracks. Often there is some resistance to change. Having a process is critical to move change along. John Kotter’s book entitled, “Leading Change” provides an eight-step process that produces successful changes in organizations.
The first step in the process is to establish a sense of urgency. Examine the realities of the situation and discuss current crises, potential crises, and possible opportunities. The second step is to create a guiding coalition. Put together a group or team with enough power to lead the necessary change.
The next step is to develop a vision and appropriate strategies. The vision will direct the team’s change effort and the strategies will guide the actions the achievement of the vision. The fourth step is to communicate the change vision. Use every communication channel available to consistently and constantly communicate the vision and the strategies.
The next step is to empower a broad-based approach to taking action. At all levels, encourage removing obstacles and changing systems or structures that undermine the change vision. Encourage risk taking and creative thinking. The sixth step is to generate and recognize short-term wins. Be sure to reward the people that have made the gains possible.
The seventh step is to consolidate gains and produce more change. Use the increased credibility to change additional policies and procedures and to promote new projects. Finally, anchor these new approaches into the organization’s culture. Consistently articulate the connections between the new behaviors and organizational success.
Now lead change and turn the turtles into cheetahs…roar.
Establish direction with a vision, and action though strategies. Align people through teams and coalitions to work cooperatively to implement the strategies. Motivate and inspire through recognition. That’s how you lead the change effort.
If you struggle with staff accepting change, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will craft a speech or seminar that will support the vision and provide the strategies for achievement.