8 Steps to Changing Yourself! In The Beginning

I’m a specialist working with women who want to make a positive change in their lives. Sometimes at the start we neither of us know what that change is going to be but we usually know by the end!  I use a variety of approaches to suit the uniqueness of the person of I’m working with. If you’re in the midst of personal change, or want to make some changes in your life these series of posts are written with you in mind.

In addition to one to one I often work within organisations undergoing significant change; my focus is the emotional impact that change has on staff and how they can best manage this. The organisations usually benefit because staff who feel more in control continue to deliver and actively look for solutions, and staff members benefit because they develop and grow through the process, even if they don’t like the final outcome. They appreciate the time to consider their own responses and strengths for managing change.

I don’t usually mix the two but hang in there because that’s exactly what I’m doing through this series of posts on change.

I’ve read countless books on change. Some are good and some send you to sleep before you’re read the contents page! (By the way, I have my own very, very short -honestly – ebook on change available through Amazon, called The Harrassed Manager’s Guide to Change). Very good if you’re a… well, harassed manager! And only 77 pence -bargain!)

In this series of posts I have fused the two; I’ve taken one of the most respected books on organisational change and adapted the main tenets to apply to personal change using some of the techniques I use when coaching women. I hope you find them helpful.

The book I’m referencing is John Kotter’s Leading Change, from the Harvard Business School Press. So let’s get the basics covered:

8 Steps to Change

John Kotter has written one of the most influential books on leading change in organisations. He says that the methods used in all successful transformations are based on one fundamental insight; major change will not happen easily for many reasons even if people can clearly see that change needs to happen. For example, if cultures are inwardly focused  bureaucracy is paralysing, there is no trust, no teamwork and a lack of leadership in middle management, to name just a few!

I’m reproducing his Eight Stage Process of Creating Major Change below. Many organisations use just these chapter headings as a checklist at each review meeting. It is a very helpful tool although like all checklists, proceed with caution! As we go through the series I’m going to take each of his steps and see how you can use them to help you make significant and positive change in your life.

John Kotter – 8 Stage Process of Creating Major Change

1.    ESTABLISHING A SENSE OF URGENCY

  • Examining the market and competitive realities
  • Identifying and discussing crises, potential crises, or major opportunities

2.    CREATING THE GUIDING COALITION

  • Putting together a group with enough power to lead the change
  • Getting the group to work together like a team

3.    DEVELOPING A VISION AND A STRATEGY

  • Creating a vision to help direct the change effort
  • Developing strategies

4.    COMMUNICATE THE CHANGE VISION

  • Using every vehicle possible to constantly communicate the new vision and strategies
  • Having the guiding coalition role model behaviour expected of employees

5.    EMPOWERING BROAD BASED ACTION

  • Getting rid of obstacles
  • Changing systems or structures that undermine the change vision
  • Encouraging risk taking and non-traditional ideas, activities, and actions

6.    GENERATING SHORT TERM WINS

  • Planning for visible improvements in performance, or ‘wins’
  • Creating those wins
  • Visibly recognising and rewarding people who made the wins possible

7.    CONSOLIDATING GAINS AND PRODUCING MORE CHANGE

  • Using increased credibility to change all systems, structures, and policies that don’t fit together and don’t fit the vision
  • Hiring, promoting, and developing people who can implement the change vision
  • Reinvigorating the process with new projects, themes, and change agents

8.    ANCHORING THE NEW APPROACHES IN THE CULTURE

  • Creating better performance through customer and productivity oriented behaviour, more and better leadership, and more effective management
  • Articulating the connections between new behaviours and organisational success
  • Developing means to ensure leadership development and succession

So there you have it! 8 ‘simple’ steps to take and the world of positive change is your oyster! Well, maybe not your oyster, and change is never easy. But stay with me over the next 8 posts and let’s see how we get on!

Click here to read the next post in this series.

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Posted on October 10th, 2012 by

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