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INTERVIEW QUESTION:

Describe Kotter's 8 Step Process for Leading Change?

Posted by Chris Adams

Article Rating // 6345 Views // 0 Additional Answers & Comments

Categories: Business Analysis, Leadership & Management, General

ANSWER

John Kotter, a professor at Harvard Business School, studied many businesses that successfully implemented change within their organizations. From this he formulated a common 8-step model that other organizations could follow to institute change.  He introduced his eight-step change process in his 1995 book, "Leading Change."

While described as a model for Change Management and Change Leadership it's worth noting that Kotter's 8 steps are tightly coupled with improvement initiatives. Humans gravitate towards routine. This means that change is a result of a conscious desire to improve on something or the need to adapt to changing surroundings.

Kotter's 8 Steps are effective for managing changes at an individual project or process improvement level, but are intended to initiate a broader culture of change across an organization.  Kotter's 8 Steps are:

  1. Create a sense of urgency: This first step focuses on how to motivate people to buy into the change.  Create a sense of urgency so that people understand they need to act now. Highlight the goals of the plan and show how the goals will benefit the group or organization.  
  2. Build a guiding coalition: Next a group of people need to buy in to the change in a fairly strong way.  The coalition starts with key leaders in the organization. They will be the ambassadors of the change initiative.  
  3. Form the strategic vision and initiatives: Develop the strategy that will need to be communicated to the larger group. A very high-level strategy was discussed to obtain the guiding coalition, but now the strategy needs to be defined in a more detailed yet clear and concise way.  Create specific initiatives for reaching small milestones that together direct the organization towards its end goal.
  4. Enlist a volunteer army:  Your guiding coalition can now help communicate the strategy and initiatives to the wider organization.  The goal is to communicate the plan and gain broad buy in to the idea.  Begin enlisting people to help put the changes in to action.  Many hands make light work.
  5. Enable action by removing barriers: It's easy to lose momentum when obstacles are encountered. The volunteer army has been enlisted to achieve the goals and initiatives. Now any obstacles that may impede their progress needs to be removed.
  6. Generate short term wins:  It's important to show small wins along the way.  Clear progress and frequents successes will continue to motivate the team.  The successful completion of smaller initiatives combine together to successfully reach the end goal.
  7. Sustain Acceleration: It's one thing to achieve short term wins, but the real goal is continuous and sustained progress towards the longer term goals of the organization. Stay focused on repeated wins.
  8. Institute Change: Anchor the change within the organization's culture. Make continuous efforts to ensure that change is accepted and viewed as an opportunity throughout the organization. This makes any new strategic initiatives easier to achieve creating a more agile organization.

--
Chris Adams
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Do your homework prior to the business analysis interview!

Having an idea of the type of questions you might be asked during a business analyst interview will not only give you confidence but it will also help you to formulate your thoughts and to be better prepared to answer the interview questions you might get during the interview for a business analyst position.  Of course, just memorizing a list of business analyst interview questions will not make you a great business analyst but it might just help you get that next job.





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