Eight Key Steps To Implement Change, Part 2

The market is changing, and so is your competition. Sales are not down, but they aren't up either. Your technology is becoming outdated and you foresee rocky times ahead if everything remains status quo. The problem is that many other leaders in your organization do not see the warning signs. They are focused on quarter-to-quarter earnings, which your company is meeting by cutting expenses and other financial strategies. You know change needs to happen, but where do you start and how do you convince others?

Yesterday, Promotional Consultant Today kicked off a two-part series on the change model developed by Harvard Business School professor, John Kotter. Outlined in his book, Leading Change, this model is concise and effective. PCT focused on the first four steps to build interest and momentum in change. Today, we share the remaining eight steps to take to make change happen.

Step 5: Remove Obstacles. As you build interest, momentum and buy-in for your vision of change, there will naturally be some nay-sayers. Kotter says there's probably also some imbedded processes or structures that may pose as barriers to change. Removing obstacles quickly can empower the people you need to execute your vision, and it can help the change progress.

What you can do:

  • Identify (or hire) change leaders whose main roles are to deliver the change.
  • Look at your organizational structure, job descriptions, and performance and compensation systems to ensure they're aligned with your vision.
  • Recognize and reward people for making change happen.
  • Identify people who are resisting the change, and help them see what's needed.

Step 6: Create Short-Term Wins. Give your company a taste of victory early in the change process. Within a short timeframe (this could be a month or a year, depending on the type of change), you'll want to have some quick wins that your staff can see. Without this, critics and negative thinkers might hurt your progress.

What you can do:

  • Use your change team to create and articulate short-term targets or milestones that are achievable
  • Look for projects you can implement without help from any strong critics of the change.
  • Don't choose early targets that are expensive. You want to be able to justify the investment in each project.
  • Thoroughly analyze the potential pros and cons of your targets and make sure you can achieve them. If you don't succeed with an early target, it can hurt your entire change initiative.
  • Reward the people who help you meet the targets.

Step 7: Build on the Change. Quick wins are only the beginning of what needs to be done to achieve long-term change. Real change runs deep, so don't claim victory too soon. For example, launching one new product using a new system is great. But if you can launch 10 products, that means the new system is truly working.

What you can do:

  • After every win, analyze what went right and what needs to be improved.
  • Set goals to continue building on the momentum you've achieved.
  • Learn about kaizen, the idea of continuous improvement.
  • Keep ideas fresh by bringing in new change agents and leaders for your change coalition.

Step 8: Anchor the Changes in Corporate Culture. The most critical step in this process is to make your change part of your corporate culture. It should become embedded in the day-to-day way of doing business. To do so, you must make continuous efforts to ensure the change is seen in every aspect of your organization and continue to keep the interest and momentum through leadership and key influencer support.

What you can do:

  • Talk about progress every chance you get. Tell success stories about the change process, and repeat other stories that you hear.
  • Include the change ideals and values when hiring and training new staff.
  • Publicly recognize key members of your original change coalition, and make sure the rest of the staff remembers their contributions.
  • Create plans to replace key leaders of change as they move on. This will ensure that their legacy is not lost or forgotten.

Source: Established in 1996, Mind Tools is an on-demand career and management learning solutions serving more than 27 million people each year, both individuals and top global organizations. Contents from this article was originally from Harvard Business Review, 2012, Leading Change by John P. Kotter.

filed under November 2018
Read time:
Comments (0)
Leave a reply