John Kotter's highly regarded books 'Leading Change' (1995) and the follow-up 'The Heart Of Change' (2002) describe a helpful model for understanding and managing change. Each stage acknowledges a key principle identified by Kotter relating to people's response and approach to change, in which people see, feel and then change (see a more detailed interpretation of the personal change process in John Fisher's model of the process of personal change): Kotter's eight step change model can be summarised as:
- Increase urgency - inspire people to move, make objectives real and relevant.
- Build the guiding team - get the right people in place with the right emotional commitment, and the right mix of skills and levels.
- Get the vision right - get the team to establish a simple vision and strategy, focus on emotional and creative aspects necessary to drive service and efficiency.
- Communicate for buy-in - Involve as many people as possible, communicate the essentials, simply, and to appeal and respond to people's needs. De-clutter communications - make technology work for you rather than against.
- Empower action - Remove obstacles, enable constructive feedback and lots of support from leaders - reward and recognise progress and achievements.
- Create short-term wins - Set aims that are easy to achieve - in bite-size chunks. Manageable numbers of initiatives. Finish current stages before starting new ones.
- Don't let up - Foster and encourage determination and persistence - ongoing change - encourage ongoing progress reporting - highlight achieved and future milestones.
- Make change stick - Reinforce the value of successful change via recruitment, promotion, new change leaders. Weave change into culture.