John Kotter, professor emeritus of the
- Establish a sense of urgency.
- Create a guiding coalition.
- Develop a vision and a strategy.
- Communicate the change vision.
- Empower employees for broad-based action.
- Generate short-term wins.
- Consolidate gains and produce more change.
- Anchor new approaches in the culture.
Successful companies tend to be complacent and do little; companies that raise a false sense of urgency run around like chickens with their heads cut off—frazzled; only those companies working off a true sense of urgency tend to produce change that matters. Kotter further explains that complacent and under-fire companies are too focused on the internal (strengths and weaknesses) and very little on the external threats and opportunities. If you’ll recall the well-known strategic planning mantra S.W.O.T (Strengths, Weakness,
You’ll need to read the book for the valuable detail that Kotter provides. The following is a cursory overview:
- Bring the outside in (connect to the customer and the world outside the corporate walls).
- Behave urgently every day (make urgency—not anxiety or anger—part of the culture focused on external opportunities and threats).
- Find opportunity in crisis (be careful but look for opportunity in the midst of any crisis).
- Deal with the NoNos who block change (neutralize and remove those urgency-killers, who will keep the group in a deadly complacent static state in an ever-changing world. Healthy skeptics are not a threat, but the NoNos are).