Kotter’s 8 Steps Process Analysis Essay

The 8-step change process was initially established by John Kotter in the year 1996. The instigation of the theory is in line with the procedures that are employed for the purpose of transforming an organization. In fact, the ulterior objective of Kotter was to introduce a model that would be useful for the managers to cope with transformational changes. John Kotter was observing various leaders and companies that were in the quest of implementing the change models. As a result, he evaluated and presented the success factors combined into a methodology that embeds the 8-step process. The model incorporates eight overlapping practices, all of which revolve around organizational change. For the leaders of organizations, change management is an integral task whose efficiency is a function of its success rate. Therefore, organizations should utilize the model by functioning in a flexible network that incorporates a traditional hierarchy (Kotter, 2012). The current paper will give a detailed analysis of each step as well as its strengths and weaknesses.

A Detailed Analysis of Strengths and Weaknesses of Kotter’s 8-Step Process

Step 1

The first step in the model is the creation of a sense of urgency by helping others to feel a strong determination to win (Kotter, 2012). It involves driving people out of their comfort zones. An organization can increase a sense of urgency by embarking on examination of market as well as competitive realities. In addition, it will be of paramount importance to provide evidence that the change is necessary. However, the evidence should arrive from external environment. The first step can only be considered as being a success when one inculcates a compelling urge to change the organization. Moreover, the urge should be felt all across the organization (Burke, 2010). In my personal experience, the impetus behind an urgent behavior should be driven by the fact that the world is a hub of opportunities and great hazards alike.

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  • Strengths

The major strength of the process is that it is effective for leaders who understand the essence of urgency because they are capable of controlling their organization (Kotter, 2012). As result, the process will succeed because leaders will connect to the deepest values of their people. Subsequently, they will inspire the workforce to soar to greater heights by engaging their senses. The other strength of the step is that it assists in sparking the initial motivation through examining opportunities that ought to be exploited (Burke, 2010). Therefore, while examining the opportunities, one can use the platform to request support from stakeholders, customers as well as industry players.

  • Weaknesses

The weakness inherent in the process is that complacency will be bound to occur notwithstanding whether the organization is facing bankruptcy or succeeding. Moreover, there is also the aspect of false urgency where people might be busy working but their actions are not contributing to the primary goal. Thus, the process does not strategize procedures that will negate or discourage the innate false urgency.

Step 2

The second step is coming up with a powerful coalition by assembling a group that is capable of handling a collaborative change effort (Lewis, 2011). The coalition acts as a vision for change and helps everyone understand why there is a sense of urgency. However, it is vital to acknowledge that other people can see solution to problems from the creation of a compelling situation. In the process, one should strive to encourage people to work as a team by showing commitment and enthusiasm. In my personal experience, I noted that a single individual cannot develop the right vision regardless of their level of competence. Thus, more people ought to be brought on board so as to introduce the short-term wins and eliminate any obstacles (Spector, 2013). However, the people involved should also exhibit the necessary credibility, expertise and leadership.

  • Strengths

The strength of the step is that it increases the ability to anchor new approaches within an organizational culture (Kotter, 2012). Moreover, having the right coalition of people can be effective in managing dozens of change projects. Introducing the right team with trust levels yields a guiding coalition that can make change happen. The strength is that the process can be a success after the formation of a guiding coalition.

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  • Weaknesses

The weakness in the process is that transformational leadership is an uphill task and it ought to be done in accordance with a prescribed protocol (Lewis, 2011). Then again, in most predicaments, the strategies to execute a vision are not in line with the goal as prescribed under change coalition. The other weakness is that the process places excessive emphasis on the levels of trust within the organization. In fact, trust seems to be the glue that ensures proper functionality among the teams. Therefore, any mistrust amongst members might sabotage the entire process. Similarly, the maintenance of high trust levels will necessitate for adjustment of members that have been part of the organization for longer time periods.

Step 3

The third step revolves around the formation of a strategic vision as well as initiatives that would act as a blueprint in achieving the set targets (Kotter, 2012). The vision will be useful in steering a change effort that develop strategic initiatives to achieve the targets and objectives in question. In fact, whenever someone starts contemplating the organizational changes, there will be many distinct ideas on what ought to be put in practice. For a vision to be feasible and reliable, it has to be desirable, imaginable and communicable. A feasible vision is easily applicable to all operation aspects, which are inclusive of training and performance reviews (Spector, 2013).

  • Strengths

The strengths of the process include the fact that it specifies a decision from past detailed activities (Burke, 2010). The process can also be useful in motivating people to take the necessary actions that will bring them closer to their corresponding goals. The process can also be effective in the coordination of actions from various people in an efficient manner. Moreover, a clear vision will be of paramount importance in helping everyone to control their progress. Moreover, the stage is also imperative in determination of values that are central to change.

  • Weaknesses

A major weakness of the third stage of Kotter’s model is that it solely depends on the visions that are set in place as well as the goals and targets established before (Spector, 2013). Consequently, there ought to be a close liaison between the vision and the corresponding goals. Therefore, if the two are not in line, an organization might not attain its objectives. Additionally, the vision can be mundane and be part of large system that incorporates several budgets, divisions, and strategies. For the purpose of creating a better future, the vision ought to be a feasible factor that considers the multiple realities of an organization.

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Step 4

The step entails communication of the vision in frequent and effective manner. Therefore, calling for special meetings for the purpose of communicating the vision will not suffice (Lewis, 2011). Instead, one should walk the talk and utilize every opportunity in sensitizing the staff members with all the proponents of the vision. Keeping a vision fresh in everybody’s mind is also helpful because they will always remember it. In addition, the means used in communicating the vision should always be a reflection of what is expected from the recipients. While communicating the vision, the management might try to address people’s concerns and anxieties through an open forum where everyone can participate. The strategy will be effective in eliminating any qualms or queries that the staff members might have. Even after communicating the vision, one should also ensure that the staff members are ready and willing to bring the change. Moreover, as a rule of the thumb, the change should always be in line with the proponents of the communicated vision.

  • Strengths

The strength of the step is that it always ensures that most people have understood the vision. Moreover, leader in an organization can manipulate the methods used for communication so as to suit the staff members (Spector, 2013). For example, company’s newsletter might be boring and monotonous and one might not have to read the contents. As a result, an organization might opt to device lively articles that lay special emphasis on the set visions. Similarly, instead of relying on generic education programs, the organization can implement active learning sessions that embark on the vision and different business problems.

  • Weaknesses

The major weakness of the step is that an organization may under-communicate their vision thus missing the essence of the process. Additionally, the method is technical and the leaders might easily miss the point (Lewis, 2011). For instance, communication that includes emails, meetings and presentations will not be equal to patterns that embrace one communication channel. The idea shows that the process can only be successful if reliable channels are used in broadcasting the vision. One should also observe the communication language used to ensure that it is simple, repeatable and vivid.

Step 5

The fifth step is to remove barriers so as to enable action. The process contributes to changing systems or structures that may hinder the achievement of the set vision (Kotter, 2012). Removing barriers will enable people to accomplish the goals within the given time frame. The essence of the step is to eliminate anything that might act as a hindrance towards the achievement of the set vision.

  • Strengths

The strength of the process is that it can easily increase the ability to accomplish the set vision. However, the management has to ensure that the performance appraisal procedure corresponds to the realignment of incentives. In addition, the process also allows for the change of leaders who might be more acknowledged about bringing the change. Moreover, people who resist change might be assisted in s understanding the expectations.

  • Weaknesses

The major weakness in the process is that there are some difficult barriers which can be difficult to avoid. As a result, an organization might waste unnecessary energy and resources in eliminating inherent obstacles. The other problem is that in most predicaments, the internal structure of companies does not correspond to the change vision set in place.

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Step 6

The sixth step aims at generation of short-term wins to gauge whether vision achievement is on the right track (Kotter, 2012). In fact, the generation of short-term wins acts as a motivational strategy to celebrate the accomplishments. Celebrating current wins is followed by correlating the achievements to the initial vision and objectives. Therefore, it, acts as a benchmark.

  • Strengths

The major strength of the process is that it offers performance appraisal which is vital in target achievement. It encourages the staff members by showing them what they have achieved as well as what is pending. Thus, complementing the personnel makes them more anxious to work on the remaining part. Therefore, it serves as a very crucial point in change management.

  • Weaknesses

The main weakness associated with the step is that it might give the team members a pressure to perform. Even though they are celebrating their achievements, it also shows them that they have a remaining part to be completed successfully. In most instances, the process brings about performance anxiety.

Step 7

The step entails building on change and the sustenance of acceleration. The process is vital in increasing the credibility of the change systems and focusing on vision achievement.

  • Strengths

The strength of the step is that it allows for the promotion of employees that have shown success in implementing the vision (Kotter, 2012). One can also give an analysis of what went wrong or what improved the achievement of the vision.

  • Weaknesses

In the step, it is a prerequisite for one to always look for improvements so as the process can be successful. Moreover, the ideas always have to be fresh so as to be useful for the change coalition.

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Step 8

The final process of Kotter’s model is to anchor the changes as part of organizational culture (Burke, 2010). The change will endure as a result of attaching new approaches that revolve around change sustenance.

  • Strengths

The process articulates the connections that draw a correlation between organizational success and new behaviors. Moreover, the inertia of change can always be maintained by employees within an organization.

  • Weaknesses

The process cannot be a success when an organization continues to support change. Similarly, a company will have to continue supporting the existing staff as well as the team who brought about the change.

Kotter’s 8-step process is an effective model that can bring change in an organization. However, the different steps are interdependent, and one process cannot solely introduce the needed change. The model is recommendable as the gradual processes increase the ability of an organization to change and adapt quickly.