Leading Change, a book by Dr. John Kotter, remains a must-have for Change Leaders. In his book, he outlines 8 Steps to effectively lead, implement, and sustain a successful change project.
Here are the 8 Steps:
- Create a Sense of Urgency – Why is the change necessary right now?
- Build a Guiding Coalition – Identify key Champions – the people that will really rally the change and the messaging – One person is never enough.
- Form a Strategic Vision and Initiatives – Clarify “The Why” for the Change & Continually Restate it throughout the project.
- Enlist a Volunteer Army – Create a large-scale movement in the direction of the change.
- Enable action by Removing Barriers – Actively remove obstacles by seeking and acting on feedback.
- Generate Short-term Wins – Show the benefits throughout the project – Demonstrate the value of the change by addressing “the low hanging fruit” (ugh – sorry – I’m not a big fan of that phrase).
- Sustain Acceleration – Build on the change, continue with the previous 6 Steps (as the Vision is rarely realized the first time around – stay relentless in building off of the previous change).
- Institute Change – Once the change is realized, embed the Change from an infrastructure standpoint. In other words, create the new norm.
In his steps, he’s proposing a solid strategy that addresses an organization’s culture first. For example, the first three steps are about creating a climate for change; The next steps, Steps 4-6 are about engaging and enabling the whole organization and the last two steps are the implementing and sustaining change pieces.