Change is one of the few constants in life. With technology moving us forward at an ever increasing rate we are all becoming accustomed to integrating new practices and workflows into our everyday lives.
Some individuals and teams may still be resistant to change, especially in a workplace environment. If they're not properly motivated, they may even hinder the process. Research on organizational change has show that, to be effective, change has to happen quickly. Organizations that build up to change do less well than those that get to and through the moving stage quickly.
John Kotter, a professor of leadership at Harvard Business School, created eight sequential steps to manage change effectively.
Establish a sense of urgency by creating a compelling reason for why change is needed.
Form a coalition with enough power to lead the change.
Create a new vision to direct the change and strategies for achieving the vision.
Communicate the vision throughout the organization.
Empower others to act on the vision by removing barriers to change and encouraging risk-taking and creative problem solving.
Plan for, create, and reward short-term “wins” that move the organization toward the new vision.
Consolidate improvements, reassess changes, and make necessary adjustments in the new programs.
Reinforce the changes by demonstrating the relationship between new behaviours and organizational success.
Efforts directed at changing large organizations may not yield immediate or dramatic results. Depending on the level of change, the time to achieve results may be measured in years, not months. By following the above steps, educating and involving team members, leaders can achieve the organizational change that they desire.