It’s oftentimes something that we simply allow to happen to us. And at times we have no choice but to accept it.
Consider the following series of change events:
You wake up. The temperature outside is 20 degrees colder than it was yesterday. Now you have to re-think the light-weight outfit you had picked out for today.
In the shower, you tried out your new shampoo only to realize during styling that it’s affecting your hair differently than your last shampoo. Now getting your cowlick to behave is proving a challenge. You need to get creative with hair gel, and better make it work quickly because you’re running late for your new job.
Already, before even stepping out of the house, you have encountered change and found ways to overcome it.
At other times we realize a need for significant change in order to improve our status quo. At such times, we make a choice to seek it out. Changes could include making the decision to apply for graduate school or to add an additional member to the family.
What about change within your organization? Have you ever lost a member of your team at work, and had to rise to the occasion to make up for their usual tasks? Have you been part of a workforce undergoing an organizational merger, and been forced to face the unknown of your future at work?
Dr. John Kotter, who is a leadership scientist of sorts, put 30 years of research into an 8-step model for leading change in a holistic way that can usher success for the individual and the team. His overarching message throughout all of his work is that change is essential. And it is. How else are we to grow as people and as a species if we do not seek out and readily embrace change?
The principles of Dr. Kotter’s model, as borrowed from the Kotter International website, include:
1. Establishing a sense of urgency.
2. Creating the guiding coalition.
3. Developing a change vision.
4. Communicating the vision for buy-in.
5. Empowering broad-based action.
6. Generating short-term wins.
7. Never letting up.
8. Incorporating changing into the culture.
Some of the principles probably look pretty self-explanatory and make a lot of sense without knowing anything further about them. They are all, however, worth taking a look at for eliciting positive change within your personal life as well as learning how to acclimate to and use change to your advantage at work. Each principle is well-explained at
www.kotterinternational.com/our-principles/changesteps/changesteps. I suggest you take a moment to explore them.