Kotter’s 8 Steps – A Quick Summary

Renowned academic, author and speaker Dr. John Kotter summarizes successful change in 8 basic steps.  His model is a great starting point for developing organizational change strategy for organizations.  Here is a quick summary to keep in mind as you develop your organizational change strategy:

Step One: Create a sense of urgency
In order for people to have the level of motivation necessary for your change to succeed, they need to see a sense of urgency.  They need to know that the change is needed now. 

Step Two: Create guiding coalitions
Develop a team of leaders that represent the entire organization.  This team should have the expertise and influence necessary to bring credibility to the change.

Step Three: Develop the change vision
The vision and strategy behind it should be well focused, realistic, attainable, desirable and easy to communicate to others.

Step Four: Communicate the vision
Communicate with the goal of getting buy-in from your audience.  Encourage a dialogue that is easy to understand, clear and easy to share.

Step 5: Empower others to act
Determine what barriers are in place (e.g. organizational structure, employee skillsets, individual resistance to change, etc.) and work to remove barriers as far in advance as possible.

Step 6: Create quick wins
Short-term wins on the way to long-term change help overcome resistance and build momentum.

Step 7: Don’t let up
Resistance to change can re-emerge later in the process.  Continue to move the change forward by keeping the urgency high, encouraging employee empowerment and greater focus on the strategic vision by leadership.

Step 8: Infuse the change into the corporate culture
As Kotter puts it, “Make it stick.”  New employees should see the change as part of the culture.  Existing employees should see it as a benefit over the previous way of being.

Learn more about John Kotter and his work at http://www.kotterinternational.com.