Book Review: “Leading Change” by John Kotter Mark Angelucci, CPCU, ARM February, 2009
Themes <ul><li>The frequency of the need to change is increasing significantly in business in the past 20 years. </li></ul><ul><li>Being effective at implementing change is a management competency which can yield a significant competitive advantage. </li></ul><ul><li>Major change will not happen easily – there are a myriad of reasons why this is so. </li></ul><ul><li>A successful change process must: </li></ul><ul><li>Soften the current state or status quo. </li></ul><ul><li>Introduce new ways of conducting business. </li></ul><ul><li>Alter the corporate culture to allow the changes introduced to take </li></ul><ul><li>In order to effectively drive change an organization needs strong leadership – establishing direction, aligning people, motivating and inspiring and management – planning and budgeting; organizing and staffing; controlling and problem solving. </li></ul>
Themes (continued) <ul><li>Change, leadership and lifelong learning : In a world with infrequent change we could learn virtually all we need to know fairly early in life and very few people would be called on to provide leadership. In an ever-changing world, we can never learn enough and the development of leadership skills is becoming important to an even larger group of people. As the rate of change increases, the drive and ability to keep developing becomes critical to an individuals career success and to the economical success of organizations. </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
The 8 Stage Process of Creating Major Change: <ul><li>Establish a sense of urgency. </li></ul><ul><li>Creating a guiding coalition – a group with enough power to lead the change. </li></ul><ul><li>Develop a vision and strategy to help direct and achieve the desired future state. </li></ul><ul><li>Communicating the Change Vision. </li></ul><ul><li>Driving broad-based action and altering structures or processes that do not reinforce it. </li></ul><ul><li>Generating short-term wins. </li></ul><ul><li>Use credibility and from the early wins to produce more change across any system, structure or policy that does not support the change. </li></ul><ul><li>Anchoring the new approaches in the culture. </li></ul><ul><li>Culture refers to norms of behavior among a group of people. </li></ul><ul><li>Norms of Behavior are common or pervasive ways of acting that are found in a group and that persist because group members tend to behave in ways that teach these practices to new members </li></ul><ul><li>Rewarding those who fit in and sanctioning those who don’t. </li></ul><ul><li>Culture is important because it can powerfully influence human behavior. Its near invisibility makes it hard to address directly. </li></ul>
Making Change Stick <ul><li>Culture change only happens after you have: </li></ul><ul><li>Altered people’s actions. </li></ul><ul><li>The new behavior produces some group benefits for a period of time. </li></ul><ul><li>After people see the connection between the new actions and the performance improvement. </li></ul><ul><li>Accepting a vision of the future can be a difficult intellectual and emotional task. People’s minds generate dozens of questions on what the change will mean for them, how they work and their friends and peers. </li></ul><ul><li>Key elements of effective communication: </li></ul><ul><li>a. Simplicity – All jargon must be eliminated. </li></ul><ul><li>b. Metaphors and analogies are powerful communication tools. </li></ul><ul><li>c. Repetition – Ideas sink in deeply only after they have been heard many times. Managers and executives must use the change vision at a lens to view all of their daily actions and use those activities as an opportunity to reinforce the change and its context. </li></ul><ul><li>d. Give and take – two way communication is always more powerful than one way. </li></ul>
Habits of Effective Life-Long Learners <ul><li>Risk Taking : Willingness to move out of your comfort zone with ideas and experiences. </li></ul><ul><li>Self-Reflection – Honestly assessing successes and failures in order to learn from them. </li></ul><ul><li>Aggressive collection of feedback and ideas from others. </li></ul><ul><li>Careful listening to others. </li></ul><ul><li>Willingness to view life with an open mind. </li></ul>
Conclusion <ul><li>In wrapping up the book – Kotter writes: </li></ul><ul><li>“ But people who are attempting to grow, to become more comfortable with change, to develop leadership skills – these men and women are typically driven by a sense that they are doing what is right for themselves, their families, and their organizations. That sense of purpose spurs them on and inspires them during rough periods. </li></ul><ul><li>And those people at the top of enterprises today who encourage others to leap into the future, who help them overcome natural fears, and who thus expand the leadership capacity in their organizations – these people provide a profoundly important service for the entire human community.” </li></ul><ul><li>Do you believe enough in your change effort to say you believe this ? </li></ul>
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