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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Surviving Disruption--Post #11--Kotter on Accelerating Change

Bonus from November 2012 HBR Issue: “Accelerate: How the most innovative companies capitalize on today’s rapid-fire strategic challenges—and still make their numbers,” by John Kotter, the man who invented “change management.” Literally, John Kotter is the “dean” of change.  In this article, he adapts his change management model to today’s hyperactive world of change and disruption. Kotter (a member of my personal dream team) invokes three other members of my “team,” Daniel Kahneman (author of Thinking, Fast and Slow), Clay Christensen (author of The Innovator’s Dilemma), and Michael Porter (Competitive Strategy) as he makes his strong argument for creating two operating systems within the same organization. One operating system, a more traditional operating system to maintain, adapts and even optimizes the core business as it adjusts to accelerated change. A second operating system, he argues, is also critical to develop an agile, networked change system that adapts to hyperactive, disruptive change in the market. These two strategies—operating systems—protect the core and grow the transformational. Kotter offers an adaptation of his classic 8 steps for change (from his classic, Leading Change, see p. 52 November 2012 HBR Issue):   1) Create a sense of urgency around a single big opportunity; 2) Build and maintain a guiding coalition; 3) Formulate a strategic vision and develop change initiatives designed to capitalize on the big opportunity; 4) Communicate the vision and the strategy to create buy-in and attract a growing “volunteer army”; 5) Accelerate movement toward the vision and the opportunity by ensuring that the network removes barriers; 6) Celebrate visible, significant short-term wins; 7) Never let up. Keep learning from experience. Don’t declare victory too soon; and, 8) Institutionalize strategic changes in the culture.

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