There are many theories about how to “do” change. Many originate with leadership and change management guru, John Kotter. A professor at Harvard Business School and world-renowned change expert, Kotter introduced his eight-step change process in his 1995 book, “Leading Change.”
However, no single methodology fits every company, but there is a set of practices, tools, and techniques that can be adapted to a variety of situations.
Using these as a systematic, comprehensive framework, executives can understand what to expect, how to manage their own personal change, and how to engage the entire organization in the process.
We believe that the most critical aspect of the whole process is PEOPLE. Optimizing the ability of your people to perform by aligning resources for change-readiness will set the tone and support the change project. Readying your people will build positive esprit and teamwork—instead of eroding it.
Organizations can view from several thousand feet above to gain some perspective and understand why change projects are so often unsuccessful—even when there seems to be a first-rate strategy map and positive, opportunistic buy-in from the trenches.Having a strategy foundation and providing resources for change are critical first steps, but they aren't enough to make change happen and endure. Seeing the strategy through is the crux of a successful change project.
During the change transition zone—when new routines are not completely established and the old way still beckons—feedback and acknowledgment can make a critical difference. When people stretch beyond their comfort zone, they want to know whether their actions are making a difference, and that there is a respected leadership sponsoring their efforts. Inconsistency sabotages change efforts. Reinforcement is important as your people try on new behaviors. The implementation of change provides the credible measures and feedback that help keep a change on track—and the behavior sustainable.
Your organization may have the best strategy in the world—but a successful conclusion can only happen with the due-diligence component of implementation. You MUST drive the change!