Kotter's Eight-Step Change Model
Kotter's Eight-Step Change Model


In the previous article we looked at Kurt Lewin’s force field analysis as a tool for decision making when implementing of change. It is not always easy to accept change but the words of the famous Greek philosopher Heraclitus, Greek philosopher, “Change is the only constant,” kotter’s 8 step model are enough to keep us aware of the importance of adapting to, and embracing change through Kotter’s Eight-Step Change Model.


Whatever change you intend on implementing in your business or any circumstances can create discomfort. At times the magnitude of the challenge may be intimidating as explained in our articles. There are times when change ambushes us but in most cases we know that change has to happen but where to begin is the greatest challenge had it not been for Kotter’s Eight-Step Change Model.

What is Kotter’s theory?

According to Kotter’s Theory in order for change to be successful, 85 percent of a company’s management and people need to agree and be for change. People can be resisting factors for driving change. Kurt Lewin’s model for change and Force Field analysis, explains process involved in change which includes people. Kurt Lewin’s model has many advantages but Kotter emphasized need to spend significant time building urgency, before moving onto the next steps of implementing change.

kotter's What is Kotter's 8 step change model?
Kotter’s Eight-Step Change Model


Let me try and eliminate a certain level of fear by introducing you to a concept which is part of the 1995 work of management genius, Jon Kotter. This is the Kotter’s Eight-Step Change Model from his book “Leading Change.”

What is Kotter’s 8 step change model?

Kotter’s 8 stage model explains the 8 steps in the process of change, which includes creating a sense of urgency, forming powerful guiding coalitions, developing a vision and a strategy, communicating the vision, removing obstacles and empowering employees for action, creating short-term wins, consolidating gains and strengthening change.

Below are the stages to Kotter’s 8 step change model?

1. Create Urgency


The most conducive environment for change is one where everyone within the respective institution wants it to happen. This calls for you to create a sense of urgency in the organization you wish to initiate change.


As opposed to using manipulation by showing people flaws within the organization you can hold an honest discussion about market trends and competitor activity. You will realise that sometimes the ideas you hade towards change will come from within these members and if more people talk about them, the desired change will grow.

Kotter suggests that three quarters of management in a company should buy into your idea. The connotations are that stage 1 requires a lot of work before moving to the next step.

2. Form a Powerful Coalition


There are people within every organization that have qualities that automatically draw people to them. These are alphas who usually have desirable characteristics and leadership skills. You will need to have these people on your driving force. It is not enough to initiate change, leading it will make it more effective.


Identifying change leaders takes a special eye. You may have them throughout your organization but not necessarily in management. People become influential, according to Kotter’s eight-step change model for various reasons and these are the kind of people you need in your coalition.
Emphasise on teamwork within your coalition such that they continue creating urgency and momentum.

3. Create a Vision for Change


Each time the thought for change comes, ideas are usually scattered in the head like ideas from a brainstorm session. Yoh will need to arrange them and merge them into one clear vision that people can easily remember and tap into.


People follow instructions better when they know what you are trying to achieve and the reason why you are giving them particular instructions. To implement this, you can come up with a list of the values at the center of your change then come up with a future forecasting summary statement.

4. Communicate the Vision


The success or failure of your vision depends on your course of action after creation. Remember there are other day to day activities that are ongoing within the company. Kotter’s eight-step change model, states these are facilitated by communication which will naturally compete with your vision. This means you need to communicate your your change as frequently as possiple.

Make sure it becomes a mantra starting with your coalition until it sinks within the entire organization.
Many make the mistake of overformalizing things by calling for special meetings and it is only then that the vision is discussed. Instead create chances to talk about it everyday and use in when solving organizational problems.

5. Remove Obstacles


At this stage I would like to believe that change is in motion if you were following the steps. Here you then check if all your staff is keen to work towards achieving the common goal which is the change in question.
It is really important to check if someone is resisting the change and processes and/or structures getting in the way of change.

At this point you need to design a structure for change and remove barriers and obstacles. By so doing, you empower the people you need for your change. This is the point at which you use those change leaders based on Kotter’s eight-step change model whose roles are to ensure the delivery of change. Incentivize, recognize and reward people for being outstanding towards the drive for change.

6. Create Short-Term Wins


Celebrations and recognitions do not have to wait until the end. Peoe are motivated to do more when they succeed. Early in the change process, maybe a year or sometimes even a month give your staff some “quick wins.” This will shut down critics and those against this change. If you skip this, they can hurt your progress.


Short term targets usually feed into the long term goal. Create these and make sure they are achievable with little to no room for failure. This is the platform with wich you cam celebrate those quick wins we spoke about earlier. These celebrations have the potential to motivate the entire staff.

7. Build on the Change


According to Kotter, numerous change ventures come up short since triumph is pronounced too soon. Genuine change runs profound. Speedy wins are as it were the starting of what must be done to realize long-term change.

Launching one new product employing a unused framework is awesome. But in case you’ll launch 10 items, meaning the unused framework is working. To reach that 10th success, you would like to keep searching for improvements according to Kotter’s eight-step change model. Each victory gives an opportunity to construct on what went right and distinguish what you’ll be able progress.

8. Anchor the Changes in Corporate Culture


At last, to form any change adhere, it ought to ended up portion of the center of your organization. Your corporate culture regularly decides what gets done, so the values behind your vision must appear in day-to-day work. Make persistent endeavors to guarantee that the change is seen in each perspective of your organization.

This will offer assistance grant that alter a strong put in your organization’s culture. It’s too vital that your company’s pioneers proceed to back the change. Kotter’s eight-step change model incorporates existing staff and modern pioneers who are brought in. On the off chance that you lose the bolster of these individuals, you might conclusion up back where you begun.

What is the purpose of Kotter’s 8 step change model?

Main purpose and importance of Kotter’s 8 step-model is to make people-focused on change, it plans a structured approach for diffusing employee resistance to change– People naturally resist change, hence Kotter’s Eight-Step Change Model model is part of the transformation process.

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