Thursday, May 30, 2013


In Part 1 of this series, "How Change Management Is Done," we introduced John Kotter's "8 Steps for Leading Change." In the Part 2, we covered the first four which involved planning and preparation. Here we address the last four which focus on implementation.

5. Empower others to act

To sustain the momentum, it’s crucial to transfer the knowledge and training from any learning solutions providers to your organization’s HR team. This transfer of knowledge is critical to your company’s ability to lead and implement future change efficiently and cost-effectively.

This can be done with train-the-trainer sessions to certify your organization in the tools used. Putting additional personnel at all levels of the organization through the experiential learning and communications skill training will help reinforce the vision and equip more people to effectively communicate current and future change.

6. Plan for and create short-term wins

It’s important to ensure people feel they are making progress. Do this through measurable goals and action plans, working with team leaders to implement and follow progress being made at every level. Hosting e-learning sessions with regional or divisional leaders to share best practices and success stories is effective.

As the initiative progresses, administering additional engagement surveys and shared results demonstrates the organization is changing, which will continue to bring enthusiasm to the initiative.

7. Consolidate improvement and produce still more change

Noting that many change projects fail because victory is declared too early, John Kotter’s seventh step calls for the quick integration of changes achieved even as additional change is produced. In other words: Keep up the momentum.

This can include:

     • More experiential learning
     • Peer coaching and leadership assessments
     • Monthly conference calls to keep everyone informed of successes and results,
     • More employee and customer surveys. 

It pays to encourage leaders to share successes with reports. This facilitates better two-way communication, reinforces the learning, and supports desired new behaviors.

8. Institutionalize new approaches

Making the case for his final step, Kotter says that in order to make change stick, it must become part of the organization’s core; i.e., evidence of the changes must be visible in the company’s daily processes and procedures. In other words, you must institutionalize new approaches as quickly as possible. For example, train-the-trainer sessions can be a critical factor in institutionalizing the new approach to management and communication, as they help to ensure the organization’s ability to implement future change in partnership with HR.

Likewise, positive word of mouth about the experiential learning can spur desire among all employees for future hands-on learning experiences.

This final step, institutionalizing the new approach, ensures the organization is “living” the change it has been implementing, and not just talking about it.

Below are links to all three posts in this series:

Please share your insights and questions by posting comments to this blog. For more information on change management, please visit our website at, or email us


This post was extracted from an article by Sue Kennedy, Chris Musselwhite, and Tammie Plouffe, originally published in Training magazine (Lakewood Media Group).

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