As a thought leader, author, educator, and change leadership practitioner, I write a weekly article that benefits leaders who want to improve their organizations using elements of my Humanist Manufacturing framework.
As we continue to explore the change process by Dr. John P. Kotter, we move into the seventh of his eight accelerators of sustained acceleration. Last week we focused on the need for initial short-term wins and now will look at steps to leverage those initial gains into more significant change momentum.
A successful company working through the change process must continue to work at creating enthusiasm for the process. A quick review of the change process is the 8 Steps to Accelerate Change eBook by Dr. John P. Kotter. The steps are now known as accelerators that include:
1. Create a sense of urgency
2. Build a guiding coalition
3. Form a strategic vision and initiatives
4. Enlist a volunteer army
5. Enable action by removing barriers
6. Generate short-term wins
7. Sustain acceleration
8. Institute change
As company stakeholders see the initial successes celebrated and rewarded, the resistance to change should lessen.
I learned that the moment you want to slow down is the moment you should accelerate. - James Dyson
As Dyson suggests, we want to accelerate our work to achieve the company's transformational vision. The momentum should accelerate the overall change process as others are encouraged to join the movement and more employees accept the invitation. As discussed last week, more of them should move from teetering between resistance and acceptance and embrace the work to achieve the strategic vision. As the transformation continues, the guiding coalition should work to consolidate gains and produce further change by:
• Using increased credibility to change all systems, structures, and policies that do not fit together and do not fit the transformation vision.
• Hiring, promoting, and developing people who can implement the change vision.
• Reinvigorating the process with new projects, themes, and change agents.
The organization's members that see alignment with their personal purpose and success in moving toward the defined company's transformational vision should begin to embrace the change process more deeply.
As more and more stakeholders commit to achieving the transformational vision, the various change elements necessary to achieve this objective must become the new operating mode. The guiding coalition needs to work to anchor the new approaches into the culture by:
• Creating better performance through customer and productivity-oriented behavior, better leadership, and more effective management.
• Articulating the connections between new behaviors and organizational success.
• Developing plans to ensure leadership development and succession.
The gains from realizing and anchoring the transformational vision should include sharing rewards that lift all company stakeholders equitably. These may be a combination of intrinsic and extrinsic motivations where employees engage in change activity because they enjoy it and gain personal and professional satisfaction.
A successful company working through organizational change must continue to work at creating enthusiasm for the process. As the organization celebrates short-term wins, momentum should accelerate the process as others are encouraged to join the movement and more employees accept the invitation. As employees engage in change activity, the guiding coalition should provide various ways to support them so that they enjoy it and gain personal and professional satisfaction.
Individuals looking for additional perspective on accelerating change can read 6 Tips for Building Momentum During Change. The article shares a different perspective on much of the content we have been exploring during the review of Kotter's eight change accelerators.
I congratulate those employees who initially resisted change but learned to embrace achieving the company's transformational vision in time. As leaders, we should stand in their shoes to see why they are resistant and work to put initiatives in place to move them to embrace the change we desire to see.
Next week's blog will finish the eighth and last accelerator in Kotter's change process by considering his recommendation to institute change, which is integral to becoming a humanist manufacturing organization.
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