Delivering Short-Term Wins
Leading Change the Kotter Way
Delivering short-term wins is the sixth step in the Kotter model. And nothing motivates 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 Coalition, Step 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.
Here is a Kotter Reading List for you;
- Leading Change
- Our Iceberg is Melting: Changing and Succeeding Under Any Conditions
- Heart of Change, The: Real-Life Stories of How People Change Their Organizations
- A Sense of Urgency
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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