In my previous post, I discussed the first step, establishing a sense of urgency, of the change management process (CMP). Creating urgency provides helps management to gain essential reasoning and support for the proposed change initiatives. Urgency also aids management and staff to move from a state of complacency to sharing the energy and direction for action toward change. This post, will discuss the what, why, and how aspects related to the next step of the CMP, which is to build a guiding coalition.
What: The second step of the CMP is to build a guiding coalition. According to Dr. John Kotter, Harvard Business School Professor and Entrepreneur, a guiding coalition is a group of individuals within an organization that are the social leaders of the change initiatives. These individuals bring expertise, energy, and perspective across a variety of areas and peers respect their professionalism.
Why: The objective of building a guiding coalition is to establish buy-in toward the change initiatives. The idea is that the greater respect for the diversity of the team, change agents will have a greater respect for the actual change. A diverse group also aids in establishing the essential buy-in of the change vision, creates a positive energy toward the change, and minimizes resistance towards the change. The objective is that this coalition can have enough power to shape, implement, and sustain the efforts.
How: Dennis Goin, Executive Engagement Leader of Kotter International, noted two essential factors of creating a guiding coalition: diversity and behavior. Team members should bring with them a variety of unique characteristics that contribute to the effort. Individual attributes may vary in skills, experiences, perspectives, and network abilities. Research encourages diverse levels of management and non-management to be a part of the team. As such, the diverse background fosters a greater standard of perspective and empathy toward specific issues and initiatives that may arise in the change process. Behavior is an essential ingredient to coalition success. Research suggests avoiding negative minded, unfocused, and selfish individuals. The most successful groups have a balance between introverts, extroverts, and unconventional thinkers. Margaret Mead, American Cultural Anthropologist stated “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” This is also true for managing change in an organization.
In conclusion, building a guiding coalition to facilitate the change management process is an essential step that can make or break change initiatives. At face level, crafting a team of talented individuals seems relatively straightforward, which in some organizations, it may be, but in others it could be significantly more complex. Connecting the what, why, and how dots to designing a coalition may aid management in carrying out the next steps in the CMP.
It is SO cool to see how the change management framework is relevant to industries, departments, specializations, and so on. For more information on strategies, feel free to comment, email, or call. Stay tuned for a fun, brief, and straightforward discussion about the next steps in the CMP.
Have a stellar day and to all of you unconventional thinkers – keep on keeping on =).
Goin, D. (2012). Guiding coalition: a dream team to help you implement change. Forbes. Retrieved: http://tinyurl.com/oquzb9w.
by Katie Doseck, PhD MBA
Chief Visionary and Strategic Ace Up Your Sleeve | Viral Solutions LLC