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Hybrid working: change management
Hybrid working: change management

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9.3 Kotter’s eight-step change model

World-renowned leadership and change management guru John Kotter first introduced his eight-step change process in his 1996 book, Leading change, shown in Figure 16.

Described image
Figure 16 Kotter's eight-step change model

The process involves:

  • Establishing a sense of urgency – his ‘burning platform’. There is nothing like a sense of urgency to instigate change.
  • Creating a ‘guiding coalition’ – to convince people that change is necessary, strong leadership and visible support from key people within the organisation is required. Managing change isn’t enough – it must be led.
  • Developing a vision and strategy – a clear vision can help everyone understand why the change is needed and their part in making it happen.
  • Communicating the change vision – what is done with the vision after it is created determines the change success.
  • Empowering employees to act by removing obstacles.
  • Generating ‘quick wins’ – success is a great motivator, and Kotter recommends that change managers build in ‘victories’ early in the change process.
  • Consolidating gains and producing more change – don’t declare victory too early. Multiple successes build on what is going right and help identify what can be improved upon.
  • Anchoring new approaches in the organisation culture – to make any change stick, it should become part of the core of the organisation.

(Kotter, 1996)

Activity 13 Applying Kotter’s eight-step change model to your context

Timing: 15 minutes

To find out more about the eight-step change model, browse the The 8 steps for leading change [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] on the Kotter website and read ‘Kotter’s 8-step change model – implementing change powerfully and successfully’ (Mind Tools Content Team, n.d.). Then watch the short video taken from the article.

While you watch the video and read the article, consider which steps you could take to help lead change. Use the text box below to capture your reflections, if you wish.

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Video 8 Kotter's change model
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