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 a 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.
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 email@example.com
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