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am 11. April 2005
Organisations need change. We all know that. But how can an organisation adopt great ideas, tools, and methods, absorbing them in a way to stimulate change and get superior results?
Harvard-professor John P. Kotter has been observing this process for almost 30 years. What intrigues him is why some leaders are able to take these tools and methods and get their organizations to change dramatically - while most do not.
How many times have we not seen somebody get very excited about some new tool (CRM, e-business, etc.)? Yet two years later there is no performance improvement at all. Often because most of the organisation has rejected the change needed to make it happen.
When people need to make big changes significantly and effectively, Kotter finds that there are generally eight basic things that must happen:
1. INSTILL A SENSE OF URGENCY. Identifying existing or potential crises or opportunities. Confronting reality, in the words of Execution-authors, Charan and Bossidy.
2. PICK A GOOD TEAM. Assembling a strong guiding coalition with enough power to lead the change effort. And make them work as a team, not a committee!
3. CREATE A VISION AND SUPPORTING STRATEGIES. We need a clear sense of purpose and direction. In less successful situations you generally find plans and budgets, but no vision and strategy; or the strategies are so superficial that they have no credibility.
4. COMMUNICATE. As many people as possible need to hear the mandate for change loud and clear, with messages sent out consistently and often. Forget the boring memos that nobody reads! Try using videos, speeches, kick-off meetings, workshops in small units, etc. Also important is the teaching of new behaviours by the example of the guiding coalition
5. REMOVE OBSTACLES. Get rid of anything blocking change, like bosses stuck in the old ways or lack of information systems. Encourage risk-taking and non-traditional ideas, activities, and actions. Empowerment is moving obstacles out of peoples' way so they can make something happen, once they've got the vision clear in their heads.
6. CHANGE FAST. Little quick wins are essential for creating momentum and providing sufficient credibility to pat the hard-working people on the back and to diffuse the cynics. Remember to recognize and reward employees involved in the improvements.
7. KEEP ON CHANGING. After change organizations get rolling and have some wins, they don't stop there. They go back and make wave after wave of other actions necessary for long-term, significant change. Successful change leaders don't drop the sense of urgency. On top of that, they are very systematic about figuring out all of the pieces they need to have in place before they declare victory.
8. MAKE CHANGE STICK. The last big step is nailing big change to the floor and making sure it sticks. And the way things stick is through culture. If you can create a totally new culture around some new way of managing, it will stay. It won't live on if it is dependent on one boss or a couple of enthusiastic people who will eventually move on.
We can divide these eight steps in three main processes. The first four steps focus on de-freezing the organization. The next three steps make change happen. The last step re-freezes the organization on the next rung on the ladder.
I've personally used Kotter's change process in several e-business projects. It has helped me a lot. I highly recommend that you buy this easy-to-read and affordable book. Alternatively, read his Harvard Business Review article from Mar/Apr 1995 on the same subject.
Peter Leerskov,
MSc in International Business (Marketing & Management) and Graduate Diploma in E-business
0Kommentar| 3 Personen fanden diese Informationen hilfreich. War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?JaNeinMissbrauch melden
am 14. Januar 2000
This invaluable reading helped me navigate through the numerous challenges encountered when establishing a long term direction for my organization. Kotter does an excellent job in breaking down the basic elements to developing a success vision. Most importantly, his book leads you into a self evaluation of your personal traits, skills , and leadership style and how they support or encumber your goal achieving process. I believe "Leading Change" is a must read for those of us who think we are high performers and certainly recommend it for pre-interview brush ups.
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am 2. August 1998
After plowing through scores of management books written by people who probably couldn't manage their way out of a paper bag, I was overjoyed to find this book. It will be immensely useful to anyone who wants to actually accomplish change in an organization. Read this book before you waste money buying inspirational posters and hiring high-priced "organizational change" consultants. Mr. Kotter has done his research and it shows -- he is a breath of fresh air in a field crowded with blowhards. In my opinion, he is the foremost business theorist/analyst today.
0Kommentar| 8 Personen fanden diese Informationen hilfreich. War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?JaNeinMissbrauch melden
am 24. Juni 2005
The picture on the cover of John P. Kotter's book tells it all: a group of penguins are shuffling their feet nervously on an icy precipice, while one brave bird leaps for the water below. The question is, which penguin are you? In too many organizations, executives shy away from the precipice, while someone lower down in the pecking order jumps in to test the landing conditions. Kotter says managers and leaders are quite different. A manager, he explains, is trained to think in a linear, one-two-three, risk-limiting way. Transformational change, however, can only be attained when true leaders push forward on several fronts at once - eight of them to be exact. Every successful change initiative begins with a coalition of leaders who create a sense of urgency. Kotter's book stems from a 1995 Harvard Business Review article titled, "Leading Change: Why Transformation Efforts Fail." It will probably sound hauntingly familiar to managers who have watched change initiatives begin in the front courtyard with a marching band and end a few months later, ushered out the back door like a diner who can't pay the tab. If you want to know why your last change initiative fizzled, we say read this book. Better yet, study it to ensure that your next leap of faith is a flying success.
0Kommentar| 2 Personen fanden diese Informationen hilfreich. War diese Rezension für Sie hilfreich?JaNeinMissbrauch melden
am 7. Oktober 2014
Kotter develops an 8 stage change management (CM) process, which is still a fundamental tool in CM today. The process serves as a roadmap.

I wrote an extensive summary of the book in my blog under

In the book, Kotter gives a lot of small stories as examples which I will leave out of the summary, but will include the key findings.

Welcome to the happy reality of change management:

The majority of corporate change programs fail. They leave behind disappointment, no lasting improvements, wasted resources and burned-out, scared and frustrated employees.

To be clear, there is often real need for deep change, and it is almost never to be had without downsides making everybody involved happy winners.

But the premise of Kotter’s research and opinion is that if we make a strong effort on good change management and avoid several of the worst mistakes, we can avoid a lot of the pain and unnecessary waste of energy and frustration, and get meaningful and lasting improvements. For this we can partly learn from companies who succeeded in this, though the actual situation differs.

The book itself does repeat the central messages very often, but you can feel the decades of direct experience that Kotter has with corporate transformation projects worldwide in different industries.

I find this to be a massively insightful and important book for anyone who wants to stand a chance planning and going into a bigger change effort.

The book puts an emphasis on concrete examples of why cm/transformation projects often fail and what is important to make success possible.

It is an excellent classic on leadership and change, so it is well worth investing to have the complete book.
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am 21. Februar 2000
Working in an organization where change stalled, to a point where innovation is absolutely discouraged, there were some sleepless nights when I couldn't stop thinking "Why? What went wrong?" After reading the first chapter of Leading Change, the answers come to surface with surgical precision. In fact, I can now pinpoint almost all reasons why things went wrong, and how one can turn from a leading prince into a caged victim. If I had had this insight earlier in my job, perhaps early warning could have been given. In fact, Mr. Kotter's books reads (for my organization) almost like a case study on "make the 8 basic mistakes, relax and watch chaos emerge". In my particular case, I can even give the names and position for each key player that failed. At the level of this book, I can only place Sun Tzu 's classic, "The Art of War", and I would reccommend this book to every person having management resposibilities, since it gives the necessary insight to diagnose malfunction symptoms clearly and precisely. All that is needed is good sense and fair judgement.
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am 13. Februar 1999
Some organizations have no idea how to make successful changes, and are doomed to waste a lot of resources on unsuccessful efforts. Professor Kotter has done a solid job of outlining the elements that must be addressed, so now your organization will at last know what they should be working on.
On the other hand, if you have not seen this done successfully before, you may need more detailed examples or outside facilitators to help you until you have enough experience to go solo. I suspect this book will not be detailed enough to get you there.
Here's a hint: The Harvard Business Review article by Professor Kotter covers the same material in a much shorter form. You can save time and money by checking this out first before buying the book.
I personally find that measurements are very helpful to create self-stimulation to change, and this book does not pay enough attention in that direction. If you agree, be sure to read THE BALANCED SCORECARD, as well, which will help you understand how to use measurements to make more successful changes.
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am 8. Oktober 1999
Success rarely comes without change. And change requires leadership. We all want success but not all of us are taught to succeed. If we manage day-to-day business operations of our company, it will run smoothly without making any noise and growth. To get your company to run and win the race of competition, you have to jolt it, change it, and know how to manage that change to successfuly leverage that change to your advantage.
Kotter argues that, to effectively manage changes in your organiztion, you must:
1. Be scared enough to muster the courage to manage the change and not let your complacency mar your mustered courage. Rabbit.
2. Know how to make a network and use it. Weave, woo, and win. Spider.
3. Know how to envision your company's strategical future. Chess Player.
4. Let the people in your organization know how important the change is, so they become willing to make little sacrifices. Communicator.
5. Give the common person in your company the power to speak and suggest changes. A Just Ruler.
6. Make people go along by giving them short doses of victorious pleasure. Kindergarten Teacher.
7. Not give them too much pleasure or they will become arrogant and lazy. Highschool teacher.
8. Make it a chain reaction. Produce gains from change and use those gains to feed more change. Change-O-Maniac.
9. Make change your culture. Mutiple Personality Disorder & Co.
All of this will become easy to accomplish after you'll read this book. Not bad.
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am 14. Mai 2000
The book is terrific if you really intend to move your organization forward through change. The insights proferred by the author are exceptionally pertinent to today's global changes. Provided in the book are step-by-step processes to achieve success as well as pitfalls to avoid. The eight primary mistakes of leading changes are clearly identified and relevant discussions are presented in a clear and concise manner. I would recommend this book to anyone who wishes to accompish change with the least amount of pain to their employees and with the most guarantee of success. Outstanding.
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am 15. Februar 2013
Was John Kotter in seinem Buch erläutert ist nichts neues. Wie er es aber erläutert, dass ist entscheidend. Kotter gelingt es das komplexe Thema des Change Management in einfachen Worten auf den Punkt zu bringen. Gute/ergänzende Literatur. Will man mehr in die Tiefe, so müssen auch weitere Autoren zwingend zugezogen werden.
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