Kotters change-management formula has almost become the standard. Without question even his Penguins Island change management analogy has been widely used.
No question we probably need a burning platform and a guiding coalition. Small wins also have their place, but there is a dynamic which I think is missing. Too often we are talking about old hands, people who are so dug in that they believe that the change you are proposing is sacrilegious. And what if there is no burning platform, we just need to do things better. Most change is a long term process which will require focus and passion.
Had a brain wave – let’s combine some other “old theory” to build a different way to do change management, where change requires a shift from current top best practice.
Excuse the diagram but I’m not great at the IPAD stylus thing yet.
First let’s decide on the change – not in broad terms, but rather in defining what is the ‘best practice’ which this change requires. Every Best Practice three levels, some basics, some stuff which are normal productivity related and some stuff which are leading edge – It seems logical to always identify and start with the basics first. This requires that the process to change is divided into sections – at least 3 (Basics, Productivity and Leading Edge)
Then the old situational leadership thing comes in – are the people you wish to influence, willing and able. If they are, then its easy – delegate. If not, you may need to be more directive in your approach. This is where the real leadership challenge comes in, that this analysis should be applied to each stage of the process.
Once you have decided on what approach to use – you need to manage the best practice stage into place using the appropriate leadership approach and this may require that you are directive where there is high resistance and limited skill,( old hands) and maintain it until it becomes a habit.This will be a challenge to your tenacity and leadership. Once you have moved forward on the element of focus, you then start with the next stage.
Lasting change will require that you manage and monitor the change tightly at first and continue to manage it until it returns to habit.