John Paul Kotter (born 1947) is a professor at the Harvard Business School and author, who is regarded as an authority on leadership and change. Take 10 minutes to visit the following websites and educate yourself on Kotter’s 8 step change model. Thus, a big and important question all leaders face is: How can I ensure that my change program is successful?
Kotter’s 8-Step Change Model is one of the best known and most often applied models for leading change. It is necessary to create a sense of urgency around the initiative in order to maximize your chances of success. It’s not enough simply to try and push true a major change by yourself, you need to form powerful coalitions with key people in the organization. A clear vision of how you see the future organization looking and why that’s beneficial, will help everyone to clearly understand why you’re asking them to action or assist this change. Without credible communication, the hearts and minds of those who have to execute the change will not be won. Until now you’ve been painting a picture of the vision to inspire the team, now it’s time to remove any blockers or barriers so that the team can get on and implement the vision. Major transformation can take a very long time, but without quick wins people will lose faith or give up altogether. Remember that the focus and style of your communication should adjust according to where you are in the 8-step process. It is a top-down model, so opportunities can be missed because not everyone is involved in co-creation of the vision. The Kotter 8-Step Change Model provides a step-by-step process you can follow to affect change within an organization. As I thought about Push in the context of Kotter's model, I imagined the table you see above.
I found it ironic that what Kotter envisioned as empowerment is often the stage where resistance takes over.
Because participation is normally restricted in steps 1, 2, and 3, the Middles & Bottoms lack ownership.
Change within business organisations has a strategic origin, supporting business outcomes and revenue growth.
As all change affects individuals at the personal level, this will have an effect on their behaviour during change. As soon as we accept the strategic imperative for change in companies, then leading and supporting change does become a top down imperative.


When leaders focus their energies on creating employee engagement and providing whatever employee support is needed to empower them at the ground level, the likelihood of success increases dramatically. John Kotter, one of the leading management thinkers and writes has given his answer to this question by providing an eight step model for leading change. Please become familiar with all 8 steps as you will need to apply these in the next learning activity.
The aim of every major change initiative is to reap rewards for the organization in some form. The leader might know what they would like the eventual outcome to be, but how do they go about delivering it? The Kotter model can be applied to any top-down change initiative, that is, any change that is initiated by the top level management of an organization. Kotter estimated that 75% of management need to back an initiative in order for it to be successful. By getting powerful and respected people within the organization on side, you are far more likely to drive the change through. Every member of the change coalition should be able to describe the vision in less than 5 minutes, and it’s a good idea for you as the leader to practice you’re vision speech often, as you’re trying to inspire and lead the team to get behind you. If you think about all the different communications that happen on any given day in a typical organization, it should be obvious to you why your communication needs to be very clear and strong.
Create the organization structure, either permanently or a project or program structure, so the work gets done. You need to structure the transformation so it contains short term targets, remembering to communicate widely your successes. Until new approaches have sunk in deeply, there is a high-risk of people reverting to the old practice or way of doing things. In this step we aim to show how new systems, approaches, and behaviors have benefited the organization. It can serve as a reminder that you need to get buy-in from senior stakeholders to ensure effective change. Change Whisperer) from Conner Partners the other day and found myself mentioning Seely Brown's Push-Pull concept again. Change management must be fully supported and led by all levels of management, not just the top. Change that is driven by employee ownership will produce high levels of commitment and therefore, higher levels of follow through to achievement of the desired outcomes. In his 8 step model, John Kotter does make the point of creating employee energy and enthusiasm for change, so that it is driven through the organisation and eventually becomes integrated into the way the company operates.


In his book "The Heart of Change", Kotter makes a very strong case for leaders to really focus on the people aspect of change. Kotter proposes an 8-step change model (Figure below) to assist organizations in successfully implementing change initiatives. However, many change initiatives are unsuccessful, and in the worst case scenario, where everything is riding on the initiative, the end result can be the collapse of the organization. What are the steps which we need to undertake to maximise our changes of a successful outcome? Bring all your key people together to form a change coalition or powerful change steering group. To counter this tendency, continue to set ever bigger goals to build on the successes and momentum you’ve already achieved. When program managing a major change initiative it is useful to refer to the 8-steps to help identify any areas you may have overlooked in managing the change. In project that you see these links are missing is definitely going in the direction of failure. The likelihood of success is greatly improved where the enterprise has already embraced change management to become a learning organisation and therefore, embedded organisational adaptability and innovation. In this step what you’re really trying to do is build lots of support for your initiative, so that the sense of urgency builds and reinforces itself. Aim to have as diverse a group of powerful people as possible, from different functional parts of the organization.
Keep a watchful eye for those who are resisting or blocking the change, and give them special attention to bring them on side. The Change Curve can be used to help you tailor your communications as you move through the Kotter change steps. New initiatives, project-based working, technology improvements, staying ahead of the competition – these things come together to drive ongoing changes to the way we work. Every time you speak or communicate in any way about the initiative remember to tie it back to the vision.



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