Napoleon Hill, American Author of Think and Grow Rich, once stated “Patience, persistence, and perspiration make an unbeatable combination for success.” The same is true for change management. Over the past month, we’ve discussed the eight step process created by Dr. John Kotter, Harvard Business School Professor and Entrepreneur. Each step is purposefully crafted to create, implement, and monitor essential actions to achieve the desired change vision.
The last step, also known as Step 8: Institute Change, is the cultivation of previous steps into the final stage of cementing change initiatives, systems, and environments that align with the change vision. Therefore, the remainder of this post will discuss the what, how, and why aspects associated with instituting change.
What does it mean to institute change? At this phase of the change management process, the objective is to ensure that change initiatives, systems, and environments thoroughly support the change vision. The stronger the support system, structure, and the environment, the stronger the likelihood to institute change as the new and accepted way of doing things. To institute change is designed to ensure that the organization has the right systems, environment, and people that support the change vision. The aligned system helps to ensure that what was once initiatives, are now the new standards and that the standards are the norm. The norm is accepted values and beliefs toward the what, why, how, and why things get done within the organization.
How can management institute change? The previous steps of the change management process have helped to take a change concept to reaching that desired change state. The ability to monitor and sustain the desired state requires a system that solidifies that desired state. Simply put, the organization must have the systems, processes, environment, and people to move from the desired state to it simply being the way of doing things. The idea went from concept to action and action to reaching the change vision. In order for the change vision to maintain, there must be systems that make it the standard norm. The system should align with the change vision, cement the actions needed, monitor performance, evaluate outliers, and intervene when necessary. There are many tools and strategies that may be used to institute change: internal systems, ongoing training and development, performance evaluations, primary and secondary data collection and analysis. Dr. John Kotter encourages leadership to communicate thoroughly about the relationships between the new organizational behaviors and organizational successes. Clear, and thorough communication about the relevancy and relationships of desired organizational behaviors among leadership and change agents is essential to continue to carry efforts and have the long-term buy-in of the organizational change.
Why is it paramount to institute change? In order for the organizational change to last it must become a part of the new organizational behavior. The more aligned the systems, processes, people, and environment are to the desired organizational behavior toward the new desired state. This is the stage of the change management process in which the vision becomes the reality. The reality can only continue with a system that supports it. Therefore, it is paramount to institute change because without doing so, the vision may only remain temporarily, and the objective to move from a vision to a long, sustained reality.
How to institute change? In order for the organizational change to last it must become a part of the new organizational behavior. The more aligned the systems, processes, people, and environment are to the desired organizational behavior toward the new desired state. The reality can only continue with a system that supports it. Therefore, it is paramount to institute change because without doing so, the vision may only remain temporarily, and the objective to move from the change vision to a long, sustained reality.
In conclusion, Step 8: Institute Change is the last and final step of the change management process. The purpose of this step is to ensure that the organization has the systems, processes, people, and environment in place to support the reality of sustaining the desired change vision. This step cements the change vision to the new organizational reality. The ability to align, communicate, and monitor the key internal and external practices that support the new state is essential in sustaining long-term success. The more specific communication, training, and systems that illustrate the alignment, relevancy, and the process of carrying out the new organization behavior the better chance of sustaining change.
by Katie Doseck, PhD MBA
Chief Visionary and Strategic Ace Up Your Sleeve | Viral Solutions LLC
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