Change or Chance? (part 11) A Review

We’ve discussed the critical elements of a successful change program:

1)    Creating a sense of urgency

2)    Building a guiding coalition

3)    Forming a strategic vision

4)    Evolving a hybrid organisational structure with your hierarchy (designed for stability, reliability, and efficiency) now running alongside your innovative creative network

5)    You’ve recruited a Volunteer Army to innovate towards the strategic change vision, and you’re communicating for buy-in

6)    You’ve enabled action by removing barriers to change

7)    You’re generating and celebrating short-term and long-term, wins to engage your people and drive momentum.

8)    You’re sustaining acceleration (and momentum) for your change

9)    And you’ve instituted change

So, is that it?!

Well, what we’ve described above are the eight “Accelerators of change” and the dual/hybrid organisational structure developed over decades of work and research by Dr John Kotter Konosuke Matsushita Professor of Leadership, Emeritus, at the Harvard Business School, and Chairman of Kotter International along with Dr Vanessa Akhtar and Gaurav Gupta, also of Kotter International.

And yes, there’s (much) more.

Consider typical change programs.

An organisation’s leadership team looks at an issue that needs change, and then engages the usual suspects – “the select few” –  to manage it.

The select few may work with SMEs to get on with the “management” of the program.

Then, with the work done (usually in a silo), the change will be rolled out, and the organisation will “have to” get on with operating with it.

Yes, there will, of course, be detractors, but they will just “have to” deal with it.

The change is usually be driven by an imperative – often a “burning platform” (eg “if we don’t do this, we’ll be out of business in 12 months”) a plea to the logical part of the human psyche – the “head” – but massively over-stimulating “Survive” (fear, anxiety) in the organisation’s people.

Let’s analyse the key phrases of typical change programs:


“Select few”

“Have to”


How do you feel about a “select few” dealing with “managing” the imposition of a change program, to an organisation that “has to” get used to an idea that is designed to appeal to their “head” (and not their emotions)?

A recipe for success?

Well, research indicates that this is precisely what many organisations do (and then fail in the attempt) when trying to implement change; they don’t use (or even know about) the 8 Accelerators of successful change discussed in this series.

So, next post, we’re going to explore underpinning Principles that, used with the Accelerators, enhance the probability of you implementing a sustainable change program.

Taking the “chance” out of “change”.

Barry Eustance CMgr MCMI
Kotter Change Leader Certified
Principal Consultant – The Sixsess Consultancy
Empowering Clients to Seize Opportunity from Change

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