Overview of the Book
The author of the book “John P Kotter” is one of the business leadership experts worldwide. In this book, he shares his experiences of the change process within organizations. He has been observing the change process for about 30 years. He studies a paradigm shift of old management models that are not compatible with today’s fast paced changing business environment and shifting global economy. The book has a lot of helpful advice about dealing with this change process.
The book is a guide for today’s organizations to deal with the new technology innovation, economic uncertainty, and ever changing. It’s divided into three sections. The first two chapters discuss the ...view middle of the document...
The last two chapters argue for promotions and recognition of teams rather than individuals.
Everyone who is occupying a leadership role or desire to this position must read this book. It helps managers to recognize their own situations from the examples in the book, and apply the same principles.
The author developed a list of factors that he believes lead to successful changes and others that lead to failure. His eight step method is divided into three sections. The first four steps focus on de-freezing the organization, the next three steps make the change happen, and the last step re freezing the organization with a new culture.
(1) Establishing Sense of Urgency
The author notes that over half the companies he has observed have never been able to create enough urgency to prompt action. He explains that completing this requires a great deal of cooperation, initiative, and a willingness to make sacrifices from many people. It includes examining market and competitive realities, and identifying and discussing crises, potential crises, or major opportunities. It is helpful to use outsiders who can share the big picture from a different perspective. The author suggests that the urgency level is high enough when 75% of your leadership is honestly convinced that business as usual is no longer an acceptable plan.
(2) Creating a Guiding Coalition
Kotter provides advice on ways to overpower complacency through strong leadership. A leader must found crisis to encourage employees to understand internal problems. The need in this phase is to gather enough believers who should be really powerful. This group helps encourage others to bring up new ideas. Companies that fail in this phase usually underestimate the difficulties of producing change and thus the importance of a guiding coalition with energy and authority.
(3) Developing a vision and strategy
Vision is the explanation of why a change is needed. The author believes that vision is a core component of leadership. The vision functions help spark motivation, keep all the projects and changes aligned, provide a rationale for the changes the organization will have to weather. A leader should create a vision to direct the change effort and develop strategies for achieving the vision. Without a sensible vision, a change effort dissolves into a list of confusing and incompatible projects.
(4) Communicating the change vision
A shared sense of a desirable future is needed in order to successfully make a change. The author identified the two risks: communication of the vision, and inconsistent messages. He describes the immensity of the task and human resistance factors that lead to failure. A leader should use every possible means to communicate the new vision and strategies, and teach new behaviors using the example of the guiding coalition team. In case of under-communicating the vision, transformation is possible unless hundreds of people are able to help.