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. He graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with an Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science in 1968, then earned a Master of Science from MIT in 1970, then a Doctor of Business Administration from Harvard Business School in 1972. He is an alumnus of the Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity. He joined the Harvard Business School faculty in 1972 and was given tenure and a full professorship in 1980. There are several change management models and theories for today’s business world to follow. Many of them are similar and some are different. In my opinion there is only one change management model that covers all the bases. With that being said Kotters guide to the change management process is still the choose choice for many leaders. Kotter defines change management as the utilization of basic structures and tools to control any organizational change effort. Change management's goal is to minimize the change impacts on workers and avoid distractions. As we know, Change management is a structured approach to shifting and transitioning individuals, teams, and organizations from a current state to a desired future state. It is an organizational process aimed at helping employees to accept and embrace changes in their current business environment. In project management, change management refers to a project management process where changes to a project are formally introduced and approved.
Kotter 8-steps Change Model
Step 1: Create Urgency
For change to happen, it helps if the whole company really wants it. Develop a sense of urgency around the need for change. This may help you spark the initial motivation to get things moving. This isn't simply a matter of showing people poor sales statistics or talking about increased competition. Open an honest and convincing dialogue about what's happening in the marketplace and with your competition. If many people start talking about the change you propose, the urgency can build and feed on itself. In this step we must, identify potential threats, and develop scenarios showing what could happen in the future. Examine opportunities that should be, or could be, exploited. Start honest discussions, and give dynamic and convincing reasons to get people talking and thinking. Request support from customers, outside stakeholders and industry people to strengthen your argument.
Step 2: Form a Powerful Coalition
Convince people that change is necessary. This often takes strong leadership and visible support from key people within your organization. Managing change isn't enough, we have to lead it. We can find effective change leaders throughout our organization – they don't necessarily follow the traditional company hierarchy. To lead change, we need to bring together a coalition, or team, of influential people whose power comes from a variety of sources, including job title, status, expertise, and political importance. Once formed, our "change coalition" needs to work as a team, continuing to build urgency and momentum around the need for change. Identify the true leaders in our organization. Then Ask for an emotional commitment from these key people and work on team building within our change coalition. Finally check our team for weak areas, and ensure that we have a good mix of people from different departments and different levels within our company.
Step 3: Create a Vision for Change
When or first start thinking about change, there will probably be many great ideas and solutions floating around. Link these concepts to an overall vision that people can grasp easily and remember. A clear vision can help everyone understand why you're asking them to do something. When people see for themselves what you're trying to achieve, then the directives they're given tend to make more sense.