Leadership empowermentChange is the one constant we have in work and in life. Managing change successfully within an organization is an enormous challenge. Like all enormous challenges, there are no quick fixes, and failing to acknowledge all of the repurcussions will quickly lead one down a very dark path. A well thought out and defined plan is required in order to be successful.

In John Kotter’s article Leading Change:  Why Transformation Efforts Fail, in Harvard Business Review, he lists 8 areas that need focused attention in order to lead transformation successfully.  In addition, I’ve included some questions for each step to further develop a plan of action and communication.

8 Steps to Leading Change Successfully

  1. Establish a sense of urgency.
    • What is driving the change?
    • Why now?
    • What will happen if change does not occur?
    • What benefit will be obtained?
  2. Form a powerful, guiding coalition.
    • Who can act as champions?
    • Who is well respected as a leader?
    • Who can work well together as a team and set a good example?
    • Who needs an opportunity to lead?
  3. Create a Vision.
    • What does success look like for the organization?
    • What’s in it for ‘them’?
    • What’s the opportunity?
  4. Communicate the Vision.
    • How many different ways can you communicate the vision?
      • Every team meeting
      • Company/Department landing page
      • Weekly updates
      • Company wide meeting
      • Signs in the break room
      • Pins/badges for people to wear
  5. Empower others to act on the Vision.
    • What barriers might need to be removed?
    • What bold action will you support?
    • What is ‘on the table’ and ‘off the table’ in considerations?
  6. Plan and create short term wins.
    • What are some milestones you can set for the team?
    • How will you show recognition?
    • How will you highlight the early successes?
  7. Consolidate improvements and create more change.
    • How can you build on a success and take it to the next level?
    • How can you reward the change agents and have them drive more change towards the vision?
  8. Institutionalize new approaches.
    • How can you show the linkage between new behaviors and company success?
    • How can you acknowledge and reward new behaviors?


Most of all, it’s imperative that you communicate to your people that you understand their anxiety and discomfort that comes with transformation. They will all approach it differently, and understanding those differences will also go a long way in smoothing over the rough spots. In a related post on The 7 Dynamics of Change by Ken Blanchard, you can understand what those different approaches are and how to handle them.

Contact us if you want help leading change in your organization.

Check out our video workshop here.

Check out additional ways we can help at www.coreimpactcoaching.com