No business can survive over the longer term if it cannot continually reinvent self. But this is most difficult to do as it requires working across all layers of the firm. Essential and difficult, it is the ultimate test of leadership.
Many organisations are faced with change, and struggle with the best process to manage change. There are several methods, but in principle they all boil down to a few simples steps that need to be taken into account. These steps have been well documented by John Kotter. After an in depth investigation in errors made by companies in managing change (See HERE His PreSession Reading for Harvard 1995) the Eight Steps Model of Change, was developed.
Kotter opens the article with his explanation of how he watched over 100 companies try to make fundamental changes to help cope with a new, more challenging market environment. Including small and large organizations from Ford and British Airways to Landmark Communications.
Some were successful some failed and from his observations John P Kotter determined that in the change process itself is a series of phases and a change management process that requires a considerable amount of time.
The initial question an organisation has to ask: Do we undertake change or a similar process on a regular basis?
If Yes, how do we embed this process and management in the organisation. Perhaps it is time to think about the continued change process within the organisation. The continued change in the outer world requires vision and lean and flexible reactions and adaptation from any organisation and industry.
If No how do you set up a Temporary Management that provides the thought leadership and manages the operating system to bring the process to a successful end.
Please note: Those companies that nowadays answer with "No" are becoming rapidly a dying breed.
Whatever the situation, it goes without saying that the Eight Steps of Kotter will give excellent support in managing the change process.
In short three fases can be recognized:
I. Creating s climate for change. Although Kotters first step is here the increase for Urgency, it is believed that all change processes must be supported by a vision and a board supported Business Plan.
II. Engaging and enabling the whole organisation can be identified as the second phase. The major part of this fase is in the communication within the organisation. Many methodologies can be utilized for this, that were not in the scope of Kotter back in 1995, but are now common tools. Assuring a short term win is essential to timely communicate the succes of the change operation.
III. Implementing and sustaining change. This shows parallel scenario's with quality improvement methodologies. To prevent from slipping in old habbits to assure new Standard Operating Procedures and way of working.
The major aspect in the change management is making sure you get the people on board initially to promote and later to implement the change. In a later article, we will get into more detail in this area. AITEM has been mastering the change process for many years in different industries.
If this article inspires you to discuss what this means for your organisation, and how AITEM can help you in this process, get in touch with us through our CONTACT page.