Kotters 8 steps for implementing strategy

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John Kotter’s (1995) framework, currently the most widely used framework for managing change, replicates almost all that has been said in applied management fora on this subject. ‘Over the past decade,’ Kotter claimed, ‘I have watched over 100 companies try to remake themselves.’ Kotter concluded that ‘the most general lesson to be learned’ from his observations of the ‘more successful cases’, was that ‘the change process goes through a series of phases (or) steps

Kotter's eight step change model can be summarised as:

  • 1.Increase urgency - inspire people to move, make objectives real and relevant.
  • 2.Build the guiding team - get the right people in place with the right emotional commitment, and the right mix of skills and levels.
  • 3.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.
  • 4.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.
  • 5.Empower action - Remove obstacles, enable constructive feedback and lots of support from leaders - reward and recognise progress and achievements.
  • 6.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.
  • 7.Don't let up - Foster and encourage determination and persistence - ongoing change - encourage ongoing progress reporting - highlight achieved and future milestones.
  • 8.Make change stick - Reinforce the value of successful change via recruitment, promotion, new change leaders. Weave change into culture.

Kotter's 8 Steps

See also other pages on Kotter

Acting Strategically
Strategy Framework
Strategy and Practice 9 - Strategies For Managing Change
Strategy and Practice 9.1 Strategies for Managing Change

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Kotter - Why Transformation Efforts Fail. HBR March-April 1995

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