Quality Improvement Tip: 8 Steps for Change Management


The Harvard Business Review shares eight steps for change management from retired Harvard Business School professor John P. Kotter, PhD. The tips were originally shared in advance of his 1996 book Leading Change but are still relevant to conversations in change management today. According to Dr. Kotter, the eight necessary steps to take to foster organizational change are:

1. Establishing a sense of urgency through examining the business environment, identifying current problems and discussing potential problems and opportunities.

2. Forming a guiding coalition with a group of people who can simultaneously work together and have enough power to spearhead change.

3. Creating a vision and interim strategies to get to that vision.

4. Communicating the vision through every possible communication channel, including by example.

5. Empowering others to act on the vision by eliminating obstacles to action and encouraging deviation from the norm.

6. Planning for and reaching short-term achievements, which will build morale and help make the change gradual but permanent.

7. Consolidating improvements and producing more change. This may mean restructuring elements of original strategies and altering them to improve progress. It may also mean advancing employees who can implement the vision and keeping the process exciting for all.

8. Institutionalizing new approaches through implementing leadership development and professional rewards associated with the changed system.

More Articles on Improvement:

Quality Improvement Tip: 6 Points for Smoother Presentations

Quality Improvement Tip: Quality is Not a Department

Quality Management Tip: For Success, Simplify

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