I’ve written quite a bit here about the Kotter approach to change. In a recent a recent post, I dealt with his Stage One and creating a sense of urgency. This post deals with Stage Two – forming a powerful coalition to lead and manage the change.
After 30 years of research Dr John Kotter believes that most major change initiatives fail mainly because organizations don’t commit to seeing the change through and don’t take a holistic approach throughout. He has demonstrated that his 8 step process provides a way of delivering and embedding large scale organizational change.
His method elaborates and enlarges upon the simple Freeze Phase, three stage approach – square, blob, star. But the underlying principles are the same.
In a world requiring ultimate flexibility an organization’s ability to deal successfully with change is a key ingredient in its overall success.
Step Two – Creating a Powerful Coalition
No one person, however competent, is capable single handedly of developing the right vision, communicating it to vast numbers of people, eliminating all of the obstacles, generating short term wins, leading and managing dozens of change projects and anchoring new approaches deep in an organization’s culture.
Putting together the right people to lead and manage the change initiative is critical to its success. It needs visible support from key people through out your organization. You must find the right people, instill in them a significant level of trust and develop a shared objective.
You need people who have the right credibility within the organization. Otherwise things will go limp and the change will simply go to pieces and fritter away leaving the organization weaker than it was before.
You need a team of leaders and managers that can act in concert and make productive decisions that will be taken seriously by all! The managers will keep the process under control while the leaders drive the change..
An effective guiding coalition should have
- Position Power: Enough key players on board so that those left out cannot block progress.
- Expertise: All relevant points of view should be represented so that informed and intelligent decisions can be made.
- Credibility: The group should be seen and respected by all so that the group’s pronouncements will be taken seriously by others.
- Leadership: The group should have enough proven leaders able to drive the change process.
The team needs to develop trust in one another and a shared goal so that they can make the needed change happen, despite all of the forces of inertia and resistance they find.
My next post will deal with how you choose the group. But in the mean time I would welcome your thoughts.
Wendy Smith is a personal coach and writer at Wisewolf Coaching. She is a qualified coach and a member of the Association for Coaching as well as being a member of the Institute of Consulting and a graduate of the Common Purpose leadership programme. Wendy is author of “The WiseWolf Job Search Pocket Book: How to Win Jobs and Influence Recruiters” as well as two novels and a number of articles on management and well-being. Her latest publication is a little eBook; “How to Get on With the Boss.” You can contact Wendy at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Leading Change – knowing what a sense of urgency really means! (wisewolftalking.com)
- Bewildered by the change you have to make – here is help! (wisewolftalking.com)
- Harvard Business Review’s 10 Must Reads: The Essentials (theascdoctor.com)