Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Leading Change

Leading Change.
By: Kotter, John P.,
Harvard Business Review,
Jan 2007, Vol. 85, Issue 1

This article, originally published in the spring of 1995, previewed Kotter's 1996 book Leading Change. It outlines eight critical success factors -- from establishing a sense of extraordinary urgency, to creating short-term wins, to changing the culture ("the way we do things around here" ).


1. Establishing a Sense of Urgency

• Examine market and competitive realities

• Identify and discuss crises, potential crises, or major opportunities

2. Forming 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. Creating a Vision

• Create a vision to help direct the change effort

• Develope strategies for achieving that vision

4. Communicating the Vision

• Use every vehicle possible to communicate the new vision and strategies

• Teach new behaviors by the example of the guiding coalition

5. Empowering 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 nontraditional ideas, activities, and actions

6. Planning for and Creating Short-Term Wins

• Plan for visible performance improvements

• Create those improvements

• Recognize and reward employees involved in the improvements

7. Consolidating Improvements and Producing Still More Change

• Use increased credibility to change systems, structures, and policies that don't fit the vision

• Hiring, promoting, and developing employees who can implement the vision

• Reinvigorating the process with new projects, themes, and change agents

8. Institutionalizing New Approaches

• Articulate the connections between the new behaviors and corporate success

• Develop the means to ensure leadership development and succession

Now retired, John P. Kotter was the Konosuke Matsushita Professor of Leadership at Harvard Business School in Boston.

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