Through this article, Kotter points out again and again the faults that behoove many, if not most of the companies trying to improve their business through change. In the most simplest terms, I bring the failures (in US society anyway) of the eight steps down to a need to see end results. Why are we in such a rush to change? Interestingly enough, I found myself referring back to the "polarity mappingâ€? that I introduced to you briefly last week. The businesses that looked ahead to where they wanted to be without first without taking into consideration what there weaknesses were, or how they could better balance their strengths, always ended up back at square one. Their inability to prepare for change left them unfamiliar with how to sustain positive transformation. According to Kotter, there is a lot of fear driving companies whether it be fear of change, fear of rejection, actually having to lead into the unknown, even fear of staying the same. Many companies, whether they are successful or not, have some fears. The difference is that the non-successful choose not to overcome them.
Question 1. Is being non-successful a choice?
While reading this article, I couldnâ€™t help but compare it to the countryâ€™s very own recent past: namely Executive choices towards interfering with international relations. Yes, some of these steps were utilized effectively like former President establishing the urgency for the US to go into war. After that, it kind of gets hazy. Many of the errors pointed out by Kotter were seen time and time again in the past decade: failure to establish a strong coalition, ill-information from superiors that be, vision??? (was there one?), failure to develop a strong plan, and the biggest red flag in my mind, declaring victory too soon.
Now, think about the overall tone of the article. I cannot tell you how many times I found myself utterly devastated by the words! Mistakes. Error. Failure. All of these read as huge stop signs as I tried to look for what was coming next. Yes, now you must enter the mind of a rhetortician.
Question 2. If you were looking for a way to benefit your organization, how would you feel after reading about how others failed to accomplish the eight steps? By the time you got to the end of the reading, would you have any energy to remember the eight steps? This question is purely from a viewpoint on how the material is presented, not necessary the content of what was said.
Eight steps to Transformation (as summarized by Lindy Sexton): Establishing Urgency. Create a powerful guiding coalition. A VISION. Communicating the vision well, very well. Having a clear path toward vision. Systematic Plan including short term goals as well as long term goals. Being Patient. Share/teach your transformation with stakeholders.
Referring back to the beginning of the blog, I would again highly recommend looking at polarity mapping as a method for transformation. Some concepts take on hints of Eastern Philosophy, but it is being successfully being used as a Western practice.