In an earlier post we said there were a number of recognized approaches to structuring a change management programme and we introduced 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. This series of posts will consider these steps in greater detail.
Step One: Create Urgency
For change to happen, it helps if the whole company really wants it. To move a change forward you need to develop a sense of urgency across the organisation around the need for change. This helps you to kick start the initial motivation to get things moving.
This isn’t simply a matter of showing people poor sales statistics or talking about increased competition. It requires an open, honest and convincing dialogue about what’s happening in the marketplace and with your competition and the risk these present. If many people start talking about the possible threat and the solution your change represents, the urgency can build and feed on itself.
What you can do:
- Identify the potential threats your change is responding to o
- Present an opportunity to respond to, Examine that opportunities that must be, should be or could be, exploited.
- Start honest discussions, and give dynamic and convincing reasons for change to get people talking and thinking drive the buzz.
- Request support and information from customers, outside stakeholders and industry people to strengthen your argument.
Kotter suggests 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 building urgency, before moving onto the next steps. Don’t panic and jump in too fast because you don’t want to risk further short-term losses – if you act without proper preparation, you could be in for a very bumpy ride.