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Leading Change

Why Transformation Efforts Fail by John P. Kotter

Ankit Jalan Harsimrat Kaur Govind Krishnan Mayank Kumar

Eight steps to transforming your

rvard Business School professor published the book Leading Change

rs for organizational change.

mental changes in how business is conducted in order to help cope with

arket environment

e successful cases:

rough a series of phases that usually require a considerable length of

s only the illusion of speed and never produces a satisfying result.

f the phases can have a devastating impact, slowing momentum and

ERROR 1: Not Establishing a Great Enough
Sense of Urgency

This step is important because without

motivation, people wont help, and the effort goes

People have to be convinced, that the current

state of the organization is not the appropriate
one to face the future.

Over 50% of the companies fail in this first phase

because executives either underestimate or
overestimate the situation.

Transformation begin well when an organization

has a good leader or change champions.
ERROR 2: Not Creating a Powerful Enough
Guiding Coalition

When there is urgency,

change can be defined, Team can be formed
which should include with members from
people a Coalition for Senior Managers, Board
who have power, Members, Customers
knowledge, credibility and even Union
and leadership skills. Companies that fail in
A successful team is Leaders.
phase two usually
based on trust between underestimate the
the team members and difculties of producing
a common goal change and thus the
importance of a
powerful guiding
Error 3: Lacking a Vision

Vision Failed Transformations Impact of Unclear Vision Thumb Rule

Helps clarify the direction in Detailed procedures, Confusion in the Able to communicate the
which an organization needs goals, deadlines but no organization vision to someone in ve
to move. sense of direction Incompatible projects minutes or less and get a
Complicated or blurry Wasted efforts reaction that signies both
vision understanding and interest
Error 4: Under communicating the Vision by a
Factor of Ten

3 Patterns of Under- Effective Transformation Walk the Talk


Holding only a single Possible through credible Example

meeting or sending out communication Zero Distance- Innovation
a single communication Incorporate messages into Using Design Thinking at
Vision captures only Hour-by-hour activities Infosys
.0005% of the speeches Routine discussions about
delivered business problems
Senior executives still Regular performance
behave in ways that are appraisals
antithetical to the In a routine Q&A with
vision. employees
Using all communication
channels to broadcast vision
The Samsung Way
Not creating a powerful enough guiding
Establishing the sense of urgency:
Lee saw the Samsung products gathering dust

01 and ignored by customers in retail stores.

Chairman Lee called an immediate meeting of
Met with 46 CEOs in Tokyo to establish
competitive strategies. 02
Lee spread the new management
Samsung affiliates CEOs in LA.
to 1800 executives and produced a

Lacking a vision: Under communicating the vision by a factor of 10:

Lee defined a world-class company as a Chairman Lee unleashed a barrage of
company that contributes to society by providing methods, including lectures that he provided

03 the most competitive goods and services to

customers based on high-quality talent and
himself, classes, books, and internal
broadcasts. 04
technologies. The books were translated in many languages
Lee wanted to shift the focus of executives from and all employees were trained by the end of
quantity to quality. 1993. Refresher training was provided and
employees were asked to discuss the
ERROR 5: Not Removing Obstacles to New Vision

New Vision + Old systems & Structures = Failure

New Vision +New systems & Structure = Success
Successful transformations require large number of people
Communication is key parameter but not sufficient
Types of obstacles:
a. Mental Blockage
b. Organizational structure
c. Performance appraisal system
d. Bosses
ERROR 6: Not systematically planning for and
creating short term wins

Purpose of short term wins:

o Prove that its worth it
o Reward Efforts
o Fine tune vision & strategies
o Undermine cynics
o Keep executives involved
o Reinvigorate the effort
o Build Momentum
Error 7: Declaring Victory Too Soon

The initiators become satisfied and

the resistors find the celebration of
premature victory as the end of
change process. The troops are sent
home and they become reluctant to
again participate in change process.

Managers declare victory of change Successful leaders see achievements

process as soon as they see first in short term as an opportunity to
signs of performance. This can be tackle bigger problems.
catastrophic and may lead to
regression of new change process.

The leaders should further promote,

hire, develop employees and use
change agents who can implement the
vision and understand that renewal
efforts take years not months.
Error 8: Not Anchoring Changes in the Corporates Culture

Change sticks in the People should be made aware

organization when it about improvements in
becomes the way we performance due to new
do things around here. approaches, behaviors and

Sometimes CEOs do not resist

the boards decision because
they think that its impossible
to undo the implemented
culture of change.

It's also important that

Poor succession next generation of
decision happens when company's leaders
board is not an integral continue to support the
part of the renewal change.