Anchor the Change

Anchor the Change

Leading Change the Kotter Way

Anchor the Change is the eighth and last step in the Kotter model. Real changeanchor the change runs deep, takes time and needs to be embedded. It has to become part of the core of your organization! Your corporate culture often determines what gets done, so the values behind your vision must be shown in day-to-day work.

This post is last part of a series on the Kotter approach to leading change. I am in process of revamping my original Kotter model series. Links to all the earlier Kotter posts are in this paragraph. The Kotter model is based on research which showed that there are eight critical steps an organisation or service needs to go through to ensure that change happens and sticks. This series of posts will consider these steps in greater detail. We have already reissued; Step One: Creating Urgency Step Two: Forming a Powerful CoalitionStep Three Creating a Vision for Change Step Four: Communicate Your Vision , Step Five: Handling Resistance , Step Six Delivering Short-Term Wins and Step Seven Building on Change

Step Eight: Anchor the Change in Corporate Culture

This is the last step. To make any change stick, it has to become part of the core of your organization! Your corporate culture often determines what gets done. So the values behind your vision must be shown in day-to-day work.

You should make continuous efforts to ensure the change is seen in every aspect of your organization. This will help give that change a solid place in your organisation’s culture.

It’s important that your company’s leaders continue to support the change. This includes existing staff and any new leaders who are brought in. If you lose the support of these people, you could end up back where you started.

What you can do:

  • Talk about progress every chance you get. Tell success stories about the change process, and repeat other stories that you hear. Give everyone a clear picture!
  • Include the change ideals and values when hiring and training new staff.
  • Publicly recognise key members of your original change coalition, and make sure the rest of the staff – new and old – remembers their contributions.
  • Publicly reward people who demonstrate the change in their behaviour – even if it is just a word in the office at their desks.
  • Create plans to replace key leaders of change as they move on. This will help ensure that their legacy is not lost or forgotten.

Meanwhile …

Here is a Kotter Reading List for you;

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link

         

Building on Change

Building on Change

Leading Change the Kotter Way

Building on Change is the seventh step in the Kotter model. Real change runs Building on Changedeep and takes time. Quick wins are only the beginning of what needs to be done to achieve long-term change – make sure you take enough time!

This post is  part of a series on the Kotter approach to leading change. I am in process of revamping my original Kotter model series. Links to all the earlier Kotter posts are in the next paragraph. The Kotter model is based on research which showed that there are eight critical steps an organisation or service needs to go through to ensure that change happens and sticks. This series of posts will consider these steps in greater detail. We have already reissued; Step One: Creating Urgency Step Two: Forming a Powerful CoalitionStep Three Creating a Vision for Change Step Four: Communicate Your Vision , Step Five: Handling Resistance and Step Six Delivering Short-Term Wins

Step Seven: Build on the Change

Kotter argues that many change projects fail because victory is declared too early. Real change runs deep and takes time. Quick wins are only the beginning of what needs to be done to achieve long-term change – make sure you take enough time!

Launching one new product using a new system is great. But you may need  launch 10 products to ensure that the new system is well embedded and really working. To reach that 10th success, you need to keep looking for improvements.

Each success provides an opportunity to build on what went right and identify what you can improve.

Building on Change – What you can do:

  • After every win, analyse what went right and what needs improving.
  • Set goals to continue building on the momentum you’ve achieved.
  • Learn about the idea of continuous improvement
  • Keep ideas fresh by bringing in new change agents and leaders for your change coalition.

Meanwhile …

Here is a Kotter Reading List for you;

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link

         

Life Cycle Leadership

Life Cycle Leadership

Life Cycle Leadership! The team behaviour theories of  Tuckman and leadership theories of Hersey and Blanchard plus Adair can be brought together to into a simple model. This will show how different Leadership styles are required across the life cycle of an activity as illustrated in the diagram below.

The Cycle

Life cycle leadership
  • At the start an activity, task or project , the individual, team or group can be confused and uncoordinated! 
  • The leader needs to be more directive; focusing on the task at hand. They promote ownership by the individual or team member and encourage their confidence. 
  • As the team develops, the leader focuses on coaching. This to to get the group into agreeing how they will behave to complete the task! They sort out how they will work together
  • There may be conflict. If so the leader uses a facilitative approach to lead them to resolution. 
  • As the individual or team becomes more confident and self-managed, the leader concentrates on leading the team overall and develops a delegating style!
All this leaves most leaders with a challenge. ‘How do I develop the competence and confidence to use a wide range of leadership styles?’
Well, you could start by following our series of posts on the team development work of Dr Tuckman. Here is a link to the first post;  Forming the Team: Tuckman Part 1 

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link

         

Delivering Short-Term Wins

Delivering Short-Term Wins

Leading Change the Kotter Way

Delivering short-term wins is the sixth step in the Kotter model. And nothing delivering short-term winsmotivates and gives people confidence more than success. So, achieving short-term wins gives them a real feeling that success is possible.

This post is  part of a series on the Kotter approach to leading change. I am in process of revamping my original Kotter model series. Links to all the earlier Kotter posts are in the next paragraph. The Kotter model is based on research which showed that there are eight critical steps an organisation or service needs to go through to ensure that change happens and sticks. This series of posts will consider these steps in greater detail. We have already reissued; Step One: Creating Urgency Step Two: Forming a Powerful CoalitionStep Three Creating a Vision for Change Step Four: Communicate Your Vision and Step Five: Handling Resistance.

People resist change because they fear loss. Delivering short-term gains reassures them that the losing something is worthwhile!

Step Six: Creating and Delivering Short-term Wins

Nothing motivates and gives people confidence more than success. So, give your company and your team a taste of victory early in the change process. Within a short time-frame (this could be a month or a year, depending on the type of change), you’ll want to have results that your top team and staff can see. And, without these, critics, negative thinkers and cynics might hurt your progress.

Create short-term targets which build up to your long- term goal rather than just one long-term goal. You want each smaller target to be achievable, with little room for failure. Your change team may have to work very hard to come up with these targets, but each “win” that you produce can further motivate and inspire  the entire organisation.

What you can do:

  • Look for sure-fire projects that you can implement relatively quickly and without help from any strong critics of the change.
  • Don’t choose early targets that are expensive. You want to be able to justify the investment in each project.
  • Thoroughly analyse the potential pros and cons of your targets and make sure you really understand what is required. If you don’t succeed with an early goal, it can hurt your entire change initiative.
  • Reward the people who come up with ideas
  • Reward people who help you meet the targets.
  • Publicise what you have done.
  • Show people how one achievement can lead to the next.

Meanwhile …

Here is a Kotter Reading List for you;

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link

         

Creating Vision for Change

Creating Vision for Change

Leading Change the Kotter Way

Creating vision for change is the third step in the Kotter model.  I’ve written quite creating visiona bit here about the Kotter approach to leading change and I am in process of revamping my original Kotter model series.  This post deals with creating a vision that people can understand, get on board with and remember. Links to my posts on the earlier stages are in the next paragraph.

The model is based on research which showed that there are eight critical steps an organisation or service needs to go through to ensure that change happens and sticks. This series of posts will consider these steps in greater detail. we have already dealt with; Step One: Create Urgency, Step Two: Form a Powerful Coalition and Step Four: Communicate Your Vision.

Step Three: Create a Vision for Change

When you first start thinking about change, there will probably be many great ideas and solutions floating around.  You need to link these concepts together into an overall vision so that people can grasp them easily and remember.

A clear vision can help everyone understand why you’re asking them to do something – even when it is uncomfortable. When people see for themselves what you’re trying to achieve, then the directives they’re given tend to make more better sense and they can commit to them.

They will expect you as the leader to have a sense of the direction of travel. Something about the vision needs to catch their imagination and help them to stay headed in the same direction.

Here are some steps to help you create your vision:

  • Determine the values that are central to the change. What are the values of your organisation and how do you want to reflect them in the future and in creating vision.
  • Develop a short summary (one or two sentences) that captures what you “see” as the future of your organisation. Make it colourful. How will it have meaning for others?
  • Try your vision out on a colleague – can they see the big picture?
  • Create your strategy so that it executes your vision. What are the big steps on the way?
  • Ensure that your change/guiding coalition (see the links below) can describe the vision in five minutes or less.
  • Practice your “vision speech” often. Make you can feel as well as see your vision when you practice
  • Listen carefully to the responses as you share your vision and consider making adjustments

Next in this series I am going to write more about sharing your vision. Stage 4 in the Kotter model is  about communicating the vision.

Meanwhile…

Here is a Kotter Reading List for you;

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link

         

Creating a Sense of Urgency

Creating a sense of urgency

Leading Change the Kotter Way

Creating a sense of urgency is Step One in the well-established Kotter model of leading change.  But what exactly does that mean?

After 30 years of research, Dr John Kotter believes that most major change initiatives fail mainly because organisations 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 the most credible way of delivering and embedding large-scale organisational change.

His method elaborates and enlarges upon Lewin’s simple Freeze Phase, three stage approach – square, blob, star.  The underlying principles are the same. The model is based on research which showed that there are eight critical steps an organization or service needs to go through to ensure that change happens and sticks. This series of posts considers these steps in greater detail. we have already reissued;  Step Two: Forming a Powerful CoalitionStep Three Creating a Vision for Change and Step Four: Communicating Your Vision.

You have to work really hard

When I put the words ‘creating a sense of urgency’ into a search engine, I came up with all kinds of great ideas!  For example,  inspiring the team to work together towards a goal!  Lots of pleasant and positive stuff. Sounds good doesn’t it –  makes you feel good!  The problem is that, sadly, these positive ideas don’t work if you want to make fundamental change in an organisation.

Kotter reckons that for change to be successful, 75% of a company’s management needs to “buy into” the change. In other words, you have to really work hard on Step One, and spend significant time and energy creating a sense urgency, before moving onto the next steps. Unfortunately, there are no pleasant and easy answers.

It is hard to persuade groups of people to move a long way out of  their comfort Creating a sense of urgencyzone!  They will not move unless they understand that staying where they are is not an option! That means convincing them that staying where they are is going to be painful, or is simply no longer possible.

As my old lecturer in change management said somewhere back in the 90s – unless the pain of staying where you are is greater than the pain of moving, you usually stay put! He started the lecture with a picture of an amoeba and gave us a lecture on the fundamentals of stimulus! He was pretty focused on the importance of creating a sense of urgency. Without it, there would be no fundamental change!

So what can you do for your group?  It isn’t as simple as just showing them the sales figures, or other written evidence of need, and expecting them to respond.  You need to work with them. Go through the figures and then help them think through the consequences of doing nothing! Make it real. Not just consequences for the organisation, but for them. Help them to ask; “What will it mean for me in six months if nothing changes?”

Let them understand and absorb the threat. Then, work with them to think through options for the future and how they can move forward.

Share the pain and then show how you can share the gain.

Show them what they have to  gain from making a change. This may not be much but there will always be something! If the facts mean potential redundancies, work out how can you work together to mitigate the effects.

Are there new working patterns that you can adopt, for example, flexible or short-time working? Are there new markets to explore. What do they know about that might be helpful?

But, be careful. There is a difference between sharing the pain so that together you can make a change  and creating panic. There is a big difference between creating a sense of urgency and throwing things into chaos.

Do your homework before you start.

You are the leader and you need to remain in the leadership seat. Keep your nerve. It won’t be easy but then no one said being a leader was easy! Prepare well – you will face some challenging questions!

Don’t be naive! When they leave your meeting or presentation, the rumour mill will get to work. So, follow up with good information. Keep the communications flowing about your plans. Always be prepared to answer questions and be available. There will be some questions afterwards that they wished they’d asked at the meeting.

If you have experience of creating a sense or urgency, please share your war stories.  If you have a change to make – I hope things go very well for you! In the meantime if you need help please get in touch, I’ve been there before you.

Meanwhile…

Here is a Kotter Reading List for you;

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find her books on Amazon at this link

         

Team Work – bringing in a new team leader.

A picture from 2006 before becoming president ...Team Work – bringing in a new team leader.

Sometimes when you have a project or a piece of work being carried out for you, you need to bring in a new team leader.

Perhaps your existing team leader left suddenly on promotion or for a better opportunity elsewhere. Perhaps things have not been going too well and, as sponsor, you decide you have done as much as you can to support the old team leader – it is time to make a change. Sometimes, sadly, the team leader has been taken ill or in an accident.

Whatever the reason, you have to bring in someone new to lead the project team.

Now, you need to explain what is happening to the team. You don’t want to paint the old leader in a negative light – you know there are loyalties. But you do want them to accept the change and the new leader. What can you do?

Here are some tips.

  1. Give the team a clear and honest explanation for the change. Where things have not been going well, you need to be quite careful about attributing any failure specifically to the old team leader. But you can be clear about why a new approach is needed and then emphasise the background and experience of the new team leader.
  2. Honour the past. If good progress has been made and the old team leader left on good terms, there is something to celebrate. This should be done as part of the change to the new team leader. Again, if the old team leader has been taken ill it is important to recognise the contribution that they and the team have made so far.
  3. Tell the team about the new team leader. Before the new team leader arrives, give the team as much information as you can about the new team leader and why they have been chosen. Show that that both the team and the new team leader have your confidence and make sure the team are clear about the role and your expectations.
  4. Make introductions. When the new team leader arrives introduce them to the team yourself. It is great if this can be over coffee or lunch so that there is an opportunity for some informal chat as well as formal introductions.
  5. Have an induction program. Make sure someone takes responsibility for showing the new team leader round. If you want to minimise any glitch in performance make sure that there is an induction program and that the new leader meets key people and knows who they are.
  6. Follow-up. Remember to check back. Don’t wait for the next formal board or project meeting to find out how the new leader is settling in. A short phone call from you asking how the new team leader is settling in will make them feel them feel appreciated and give you early warning if all is not going well. Touch base with the team themselves sometimes to show you haven’t abandoned them but be careful not to undermine the new team leader when you do it.

If you need support transitioning between team leaders, get in touch. Working with a coach can help a team make the change without disruption.

Wendy Mason is a Career Coach with Life Coaching skills and expertise in helping people have the confidence they need to be successful at work while maintaining a good work/life balance. You can email her at wendymason
@wisewolfcoaching.com

Related articles

For Your BookShelf – Project Management Demystified By Geoff Reiss

Project Management Demystified By Geoff Reiss

Project Management Lifecycle

‘If you are new or relatively new to project management and you plan to have one book … this is the one you should have.’ Martin Barnes, President of the Association of Project Management

Project management – if you are new to the subject, this book should be on your bookshelf. In clear and concise writing Reiss presents the concepts of project management.

He introduces you to the jargon and then goes though nine steps you need to reach a successful project.

A series of paragraphs introduce project management in many different areas; from publishing to space exploration, charity events to defence, construction to business change. They describe the nature of projects in each of these areas. The principles and techniques for the project manager are the same in each of these areas, just as the principles and techniques used by an accountant are constant across industries.

The chapter on “People” issues provides a useful reminder to the project manager that their projects are performed by teams of people, and that people are all different. The principles of good team management apply equally to projects as they do anywhere else.

The descriptions of personality types that will be familiar to anyone who knows the Meyers-Briggs or Belbin tests.

Project Management Demystified is concise, an easy read and provides a good over-view of the whole project management process.

This third edition contains expanded sections on program management, portfolio management, and the public sector. An entirely new chapter covers the evaluation, analysis and management of risks and issues. A much expanded section explores the rise and use of methodologies like Prince2.

This book ‘Provides an interesting perspective on the profession of project management that will amuse and prepare people embarking on their careers. Project Management Tipoffs

Wendy Smith, Career, life and Business Coach
Wendy Smith, Principal Coach, WiseWolf Life and Career Coaching

Wendy Smith is a career consultant, life coach and business coach with depth of experience in organisational development, management, coaching and personal development. That experience means she is equally at home helping clients find a new career direction, starting-up new businesses or dealing with life’s more challenging personal issues. You can contact her at wendy@wisewolfcoaching.com

Wendy has written a little eBook on how to get on with your boss and a book on job search – you can find all her books on Amazon at this link

         

Paragons of virtue or the perfusion of good team leadership?

US Women's Soccer Team at 2003 World Cup

When choosing team members to complete tasks in your organization, what kind of people do you look for?

Yes I know Belbin says you should have;

  • One Co-ordinator or Shaper (not both) for leader
  • A Plant to stimulate ideas
  • A Monitor/evaluator to maintain honesty and clarity
  • • One or more Implementer, Team worker, Resource investigator or Completer/finisher to make things happen

So here we have a range of different personality types, let us make a second assumption – they are all technically competent. Now what else do you look for in your teams in real life?

Well, I like people I can count on to get things done; people who will do their share of the work and not find ways to off load it to others. Sound’s boring doesn’t it? But if I have an important project, reliable team members are invaluable.

I like to have people who will speak up and express their thoughts directly, but with respect for other team members.

And I would like them to have enough confidence to tell me, if we are getting something wrong as a team. Of course, I’d like them to have the discretion to tell me that bad news behind closed doors.

But I’d like us all to be able to listen, and to listen actively, as well as speaking up.

What I would give to find active engagement and people willing have ago at something new as well?

How about being able to recognise risk and knowing when to take it?

Of course I want the team to work cooperatively with each other and share the hard times as well as the good. If they can look beyond their own interests to those of the team, then we all win.

Well, have I found these paragons of virtue?

Oh yes, I have. I’ve seen them in action a number of times but not always working for me!

You see so much depends on the leader and the climate the leader creates!

There are many, many people who can do well in teams when they are well led.

They can flower and do things they never dreamed of!

All it takes is someone to create the climate in which they can thrive and someone who can share a vision in which they can believe.

So that means it’s down to you then really doesn’t it? It’s your team but can you turn them into winners?

I’d welcome the comments on what I’ve written above. Do you think I’m being too hard on leaders – have I set the bar too high? Are my expectations unrealistic? I’d love to have your views!

Related articles

Wendy Mason works as a consultant, business coach and blogger. Adept at problem solving, she is a great person to bring in when that one thing you thought was straightforward turns out not to be! If you have a problem talk to Wendy – she can help you – email her at wendymason@wisewolfconsulting.com or ring ++44(0)7867681439

Handle with care – bad news for the boss!

A Meeting with the Boss
Image by David Panevin via Flickr

I’ve written here before about giving bad news! Delivering bad news to anybody is difficult, but delivering bad news to your sponsor or line manager is one of the toughest and most stressful things you  will do in your working life!

It doesn’t matter whether or not it is your fault, it is still uncomfortable.

Regardless of  whether the failure is your fault, it can be embarrassing.

If you have an open and positive relationship with your boss so much the better, you can talk about handling bad news before you have any to deliver.  Be wise and see if you can reach an agreement in the early stages about what to do when things go wrong!

If you are unlucky enough to have one of those bosses who always reacts badly when receiving bad news,  it will need careful handling,

So when something has gone wrong – what can you do?

  1. First, don’t put off delivering bad news until the things get worse. Most problems left unresolved get worse over time, so waiting to tell the boss doesn’t help the situation.
  2. Gather as many facts as possible! You will probably be asked several questions about how it happened. You should be able to give a convincing, honest and well-informed answer!
  3. If possible you should also have a convincing plan to put things right.
  4. If it means a delay to delivering your process, programme or project, be clear about what that means in terms of time, resources and ultimate delivery.
  5. If there are increased risks, show how you plan to mitigate them.
  6. Deliver the message clearly and directly. If you have made a mistake or forgotten something, it really is better to confess and apologise.
  7. Don’t stimulate a blame culture. Try not to deliver bad news in a way that embarrasses the boss and reflects directly on them.  Don’t start playing the whose to blame “tit-for-tat” game, if you can avoid it.
  8. If some one more junior in your team made a mistake then stand by them – it’s your team! But don’t defend the indefensible!
  9. Try to deliver bad news in private if possible. If you have to report the problem to a board then try to have word with your boss and/or the chair beforehand and agree how it will be handled.
  10. If you can, follow bad news up with good news and go on to talk about success.

Remember that we have all made mistakes including your boss.    But make sure you learn from this experience! If you got something wrong and you are trying to do a good job, make sure  you have all the training you need and that you have sufficient resources.   If you don’t, then speak up and show that you intend to do all you can to make sure you have no further bad news to deliver!