Our Iceberg is Melting…Changing and Succeeding Under Any Conditions ‘The Leadership Factor – Part I’

There is a substantial amount of important information in what was initially going to be the final power idea of Our Iceberg is Melting…Changing and Succeeding Under Any Conditions. To keep our commitment of providing information that is easily read and applied, the final power idea will be shared in two parts and is the final factor – ‘The Leadership Factor’.

Over the years several models of growth and those specifically dealing with change have been developed and successfully implemented in organizations. One such model was developed by John Kotter, a Harvard University professor. After years of researching growth and change in organizations, Kotter devised the following eight-step change process to successfully transform organizations.

There are eight transformational steps that management should be aware of and implement as an organization. In this power idea we are going to look at the first four. They are:
1. Establish a sense of urgency.
2. Form a powerful guiding team.
3. Create a vision.
4. Communicate the vision, etc.

First, leaders must (1) establish a sense of urgency for growth and change by examining the challenges and by identifying and discussing crises, potential crises, or major opportunities. By providing evidence that growth and change is necessary, leaders are able to jolt people out of complacency—making them believe that the current situation is more dangerous than leaping into the unknown.
Leaders should ask:
* What are the challenges?
* What are the present and/or potential crises?
* What are the major opportunities?

Second, leaders must (2) form a powerful guiding team who hold enough power in the organization to guide the growth and change effort. Growth and change cannot be directed through the existing hierarchy. Instead, it must be nurtured and supported by a dedicated group of influential people throughout the organization. Leaders must encourage this group to work together as a team.
Leaders should ask:
* Who has the power to guide this change effort?
* Who should be on the team?
* What can I do to encourage the group to work together as a team?

Third, in order to transform organizations, leaders must (3) create a vision to help direct the growth and change effort, and they must develop strategies for achieving that vision. Once employees accept the urgency, they want to know where they are going—they want a clear direction to a better future. Without a vision, the growth and change effort can dissolve into a series of incompatible projects that start to look like change for change’s sake.
Leaders should ask:
* What is the vision that will direct the change effort?
* What strategies will I use to achieve the vision?

Once the vision and strategies are created, leaders must use every vehicle possible to (4) communicate them. Leaders must communicate the vision through their actions and by example of the guiding team. Nothing will diminish a change effort quicker than leaders saying one thing and doing another. Thus, leaders must make opportunities to communicate the vision in day-to-day activities. For example, when presenting awards to employees, leaders should explain how the employees’ performance fits into the vision and how the performance is a contribution to something much larger than the act of being rewarded.
Leaders should ask:
* What vehicles will I use to communicate the new vision and strategies?

These are the first four steps of John Kotter’s eight transformational steps that management should be aware of and implement as an organization when dealing with growth and change.
In the final power idea we will look at the remaining four steps in this process.


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