Cotter’s 8-Step Model in Change Management

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Updated: Jun 28, 2022
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John Kotter’s Heart of Change was inspiring, informative, and creative. His Driving theme is “The core of change is always about changing the behavior of people”. The 8 step process is an excellent way to compartmentalize the pathway to success and goes a step beyond what our book Organizational Behavior and Management provides as far as real world processes as opposed to just studies and stories.

This initial step of Kotter’s 8 Step Change Model is the most essential advance as indicated by John Kotter.

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By making representatives mindful of the need and earnestness for change, strides will be made. This requires and open, genuine and persuading discourse. This persuades workers regarding the significance of making a move. This could be practiced by conversing with them about potential dangers or by talking about conceivable arrangements. It is a smart thought to build up a team that can involve itself with the changes the association needs to execute. This gathering deals with all endeavors and urges the workers to collaborate and adopt a useful strategy.

Ideally, this alliance is made up from representatives working in various occupations and positions so all representatives can depend on the gathering and distinguish themselves with the colleagues. In light of the open character, the gatherings can likewise work as a sounding board, which empowers an open correspondence. Kotter also goes over the importance of the vision. Planning an unmistakable vision can enable everybody to comprehend what the association is attempting to accomplish inside the concurred time allotment. It makes changes progressively concrete and makes support to execute them. The thoughts of representatives can be joined in the vision, with the goal that they will acknowledge the vision quicker. Connecting the received vision to methodologies will assist workers with achieving their objectives.

Another paramount feature in Kotter’s 8 Step Change Model is to make support and acknowledgment among the representatives more fluid. This must be accomplished by discussing the new vision with the representatives at each possibility you get and by taking their sentiments, concerns and tensions truly. The new vision must be completely embraced over the whole association. Before change is acknowledged at all dimensions, it is significant to change or, if important, evacuate deterrents that could undermine the vision. By going into exchange with all workers, it will turn out to be clear who are opposing the change.

To energize acknowledgment of the vision by the representatives, it helps when their thoughts are consolidated and executed in the change procedure. Nothing persuades more than progress. Make momentary objectives so the workers have an unmistakable thought of what is happening. At the point when the objectives have been met, the workers will be propelled to adjust and extend the change. By recognizing and compensating workers who are firmly associated with the change procedure, it will be clear in all cases that the organization is evolving course.

As indicated by John Kotter many change directions fizzle since triumph is pronounced too soon. In any case, change is a moderate going procedure and it must be crashed into the by and large corporate culture. Brisk wins are just the start of long haul change. An association in this way needs to continue searching for enhancements. Simply after numerous victories have been accomplished, it tends to be set up that the change is satisfying. The last advance of Kotter’s 8 Step Change Model is focused on keeping the new culture that was created. A change will just turn out to be a piece of the corporate culture when it has turned into a piece of the center of the association.

Change does not happen without anyone else’s input. Qualities and principles must concur with the new vision and the representatives’ conduct must give a consistent match. Representatives must keep on supporting the change. Ordinary assessment and talks about advancement help combine the change. My high school English teacher and football coach, Mr. Sanders always taught us that sports is a conduit to explain life. under that premise I will review the heart of change, comparing it to our own text book and ultimately using the business of basketball to illustrate how the book can help the Chicago Bulls. affect change in the organization.

A lack of urgency breeds complacency. Kotter understood this dynamic; take a company like Apple for example. This trillion dollar empire is the epitome of success, but according to Kotter it is a perfect candidate for complacency.

Having started about 30 years ago with humble beginnings in the garage of Steve Jobs, Apple is currently one of the most forefront names in technology, often times leading the way and blazing a new trail all together. Jobs carried out his meticulous ideas with an even greater sense of urgency executing them. Success breeds complacency; in the National Basketball Association they call it finals fatigue. For this example let’s analyze a generational player, and very applicable point of reference LeBron James. To briefly allude to his greatness, the last time he was not in the NBA finals I was still in high school. He accomplishes this prolonged stretch of dominance by constantly working on his game. Having been arguably the best player in the league since his 5th year in the league he continued to improve.

In year 7 he trained with Hakeem Ouwlajawon to improve his effectiveness in the low post. In year 12 he incorporated one of the most difficult shots to guard in basketball, the one leg fade away jump shot made famous by Dirk Nowitzki, a man he himself lost in the finals too just 4 years prior. it’s no wonder why in his 15th season he averaged career highs, and currently in his 16th campaign he is an MVP candidate 1/3rd of the season. LeBron is more than an athlete; he is a business, brand, and model of possibility. LeBron James and Steve Jobs are just two of millions of examples of continued improvement.

In a change process you will Always find resisters. Some resisters are waiting for the majority to make the change before they incorporate the change themselves, while others do not intend to change at all. Kotter instructs is to get them out immediately. While I thought this was extreme at first, it is paramount that you surround yourself with people who get the vision, and are eager to achieve goals. Part of building this level of enthusiasm entails effectively and efficiently communicating a vision for change under communication can undermine a brilliant strategy, the time needed to interpret it can kill it all together.

John Kotter realized the importance of time and how everyone in the organization utilizes it differently. Think tanks spend weeks creating a vision, complete with slide shows and other imagery. People who head these initiatives often times don’t take into account that the typical 40hr a week employee has a fraction of the time to dedicate to the overall vision for change.

Chapter 13-15 in our textbook Organization: Behavior Management we learn about effective communication, Decision making, and Leadership. This ties into a concept described by Kotter as change management, or the extent to in which an organization can control change to mitigate chaos. For this example let’s us first be reminded of their recent series of events.

  • Chicago bulls fire coach 12/3
  • 56 point loss 12/8
  • Players rebelling

The bulls are not using Kotter’s 8 step plan and the organization is desensitizing into chaos, a stark contrast to the wonder years that were Jordan’s 90’s Bulls team. The past and present dichotomy can be broken down into two distinct styles of Leadership Leadership. In chapter 15 of our books we learn that “through interviewing leaders and followers, researchers identified two distinct styles of leadership, referred to as job-centered and employee-centered. The job-centered leader focuses on completing the task and uses close supervision so that subordinates perform their tasks using specified procedures.

The employee-centered leader focuses on the people doing the work and believes in delegating decision making and aiding employees in satisfying their needs by creating a supportive work environment. The employee-centered leader is concerned with followers’ personal advancement, growth, and achievement. Such leaders emphasize individual and group development with the expectation that effective work performance will naturally follow”. (Text book, pg 407) however, neither one of these examples of leadership will work if leadership is not operating with a sense of urgency; sports translation: there has to be a push from the top to bring about a winning culture.

Kotter teaches us that change begins and ends in the hearts of the people you want to change. Affecting change is a game of politics, and in politics communication is essential. Influence is what playing politics is all about. According to our text Individuals and groups engage in political behavior to influence the perceptions or behaviors of other individuals and groups. Accordingly, the means or tactics used to accomplish this have been the focus of much research. One particularly interesting approach has been refined over a period of many studies by several different researchers.41 This research stream has identified nine specific tactics used by individuals to influence their superiors, co-workers, and subordinates to do what they wanted them to do.

These tactics are:

  1. Consultation. Used to gain your support for a course of action by letting you participate in the planning for the action.
  2. Rational persuasion. Used to convince you that a particular course of action is “logi- cally” the best course because it is in your best interest.
  3. Inspirational appeals. Used to gain support by appealing to your values or ideals, or by increasing your confidence that the desired course of action will be successful.
  4. Ingratiating tactics. Used to create a sense of obligation because someone is doing something nice for you. Designed to make it difficult for you not to support the course of action desired by the ingratiator.
  5. Coalition tactics. Used to gain your support by seeking the help of others to persuade you, or by using the support of others as an argument for you to also give your support.
  6. Pressure tactics. Used to gain your support for a particular course of action through demands, intimidation, or threats.
  7. Legitimating. Used to gain your support by claiming the authority to ask for your sup- port, or by claiming that such support is consistent with organizational policies or rules.
  8. Personal appeals. Used to appeal to your feelings of loyalty and friendship to gain your support.
  9. Exchange tactics. Used to gain your support by the promise that you will receive a reward or benefit if you comply, or by reminding you of prior favors you must now reciprocate.

Not all these tactics are equally effective in bringing about desired results. Exhibit 12.5 shows the results from one study that assessed the effectiveness of each tactic. More than 500 cases involving the use of influence tactics were analyzed in terms of leading to one of three outcomes:

  1. Commitment results when you agree internally with the decision, action, or request, are enthusiastic about it, and are likely to exert unusual effort to carry out the request.
  2. Compliance occurs when you carry out the request but are apathetic about it and make only a minimal effort to do it.
  3. Resistance results when you are opposed to the request and try to avoid doing it.

Currently there is not a sense of urgency in the bulls organization. They are losing games on purpose to land a high draft pick. For clarity, this strategy of tanking is not all together bad. In fact, if done with a sense of urgency it can land you a generational player such as former MVP Derrick Rose, who was drafted by the bulls as a result of tanking. This showed a level of commitment. And despite suffering a career threatening injury the organization was noncommittal on the future of their superstar. This ushered in a culture of compliance, as winning wasn’t prioritized as it was in years prior, but losing is still unacceptable. Now on their 3rd coach in four years, the organization is going through a period of Resistance

The ultimate objective of change is to replace bad behavior with good behavior. Both books effectively illustrate how this is done, with the heart of change being the most pragmatic solution in my opinion. While both books highlight the importance of building the team, Kotter goes on in length about getting rid of resisters and maintains energy, and in my opinion that is the theme of any successful organization, whether if it the business of sports, advertising, or tech.

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Cotter’s 8-Step Model in Change Management. (2022, Jun 28). Retrieved from