THREE WELL ESTABLISHED WAYS TO MANAGE CHANGE

There are a number of recognized approaches to structuring a change management programme.  Here are three!  Choose the one that fits best with your style and your organization!

The Kotter model

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.

These steps are:

  1. Establish a sense of urgency
    – examine market and competitive realities
    – identify and discuss crises, potential crises or major opportunities.
  2. Form a powerful, guiding coalition
    – assemble a group with enough power to lead the change effort
    – encourage the group to work together as a team.
  3. Create a vision
    – create a vision to help direct the change effort
    – develop strategies for achieving that vision.
  4. Communicate the vision
    – use every vehicle possible to communicate the new vision and strategies
    – teach new behaviours by the example of the guiding coalition.
  5. Empower others to act on the vision
    – get rid of obstacles to change
    – change systems or structures that seriously undermine the vision
    – encourage risk taking and non-traditional ideas, activities and actions.
  6. Plan and create short term wins
    – plan for visible performance improvements
    – create those improvements
    – recognise and reward employees involved in the improvements.
  7. Consolidate improvements and produce still more change
    – use increased credibility to change systems, structures and policies that don’t fit the vision
    – hire, promote and develop employees who can implement the vision
    – reinvigorate the process with new projects themes and change agents.
  8. Institutionalise new approaches
    – articulate the connections between the new behaviours and corporate success
    – develop the means to ensure leadership development and succession.

These steps are summarised in the diagram below:

Reading and resources

J Kotter. 1996. Leading Change. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.
J Kotter. 1995. ‘Leading change – why transformation efforts fail’ in Harvard Business Review.
J Kotter and D Cohen. 2002. The Heart of Change. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.

The model for improvement

The model builds on and brings together for practitioners, change management theory and practice, especially that published in 1992 by Langley, Nolan et al. It provides a framework for developing, testing and implementing changes to the way that things are done that will lead to improvement.

It is in two parts of equal importance.

  1. The ‘thinking part’, consists of three fundamental questions that are essential for guiding improvement work. The aim is to gather ideas and evidence to support the changes.
  2. The ‘doing part’, is made up of Plan, Do, Study, Act (PDSA) cycles that will help you make rapid change.

This is summarised in the diagram below:

It is recommended that you try change on a small scale to begin with and to rely on using many consecutive cycles to build up information about how effective your change is.

This makes it easier to get started, gives results rapidly and reduces the risk of something going wrong and having a major impact. When you have built up enough information to feel confident about your change, you can then implement it as part of your system.

Reading and resources
G Langley, K Nolan et al. 1996. The Improvement Guide: A Practical Approach to Enhancing Organisational Performance. San-Francisco: Jossey Bass.

A Practical Method that Builds on a Number of Other Change Theories

This model proposes that for a change to be successful there must be

  • A clear vision for the future
  • A coherent plan for getting there

It sets out a five stage remodelling process, shown in the diagram below:

7 Replies to “THREE WELL ESTABLISHED WAYS TO MANAGE CHANGE”

  1. Pingback: WELL ESTABLISHED WAYS TO MANAGE CHANGE – THE KOTTER MODEL – STEP ONE CREATE A SENSE OF URGENCY « Wisewolf Talking – resources for those managing or going through change!
  2. Pingback: WELL ESTABLISHED WAYS TO MANAGE CHANGE – THE KOTTER MODEL – STEP TWO CREATE A POWERFUL COALITION « Wisewolf Talking – resources for those managing or going through change!
  3. Pingback: WELL ESTABLISHED WAYS TO MANAGE CHANGE – THE KOTTER MODEL – STEP THREE CREATE A VISION FOR CHANGE « Wisewolf Talking – resources for those managing or going through change!
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