Kotter’s Change Management Model
A Harvard Professor and change management expert, John Kotter, developed Kotter's 8-step change model after surveying more than 100 organizations changing.
Kotter's theory focuses primarily on the people experiencing a significant organizational change and their psychology rather than the changes themselves. The eight steps involved in this model are:
- Create a sense of urgency that motivates people.
- Build a strong coalition with leaders and change teams from different departments and with diverse skills.
- Form a strategic vision for what you intend to accomplish.
- Get everyone’s buy-in so you can get them on board and ensure that they understand their role in the process.
- Identify and eliminate roadblocks that cause friction to enable action.
- Create short-term goals so your change management plan can be achieved through a series of short-term wins and highlight the benefit of the change.
- Sustain the momentum throughout the entire rapid adoption process.
- Maintain the transformation after the initial project is over.
John Kotter's change management model is relatively easy to follow and incorporate. It focuses primarily on preparing employees for a change instead of implementing it.
Also, it can inspire resistant individuals to embrace change through having a trust policy, teamwork, and transparency.
Furthermore, the Kotter Model prioritizes effective workplace communication and a great employee experience, so it is no surprise that it is one of the most widely used change management models.
McKinsey 7-S Change Management Model
Robert Waterman and Thomas Peters developed the McKinsey 7-S Model at the McKinsey consulting firm during the 1970s to assess how different parts of an organization work together.
It is one of the more complex models, but this difficulty may be necessary when implementing complex organization-wide changes.
The model's key elements aren't designed to be addressed in a particular order, but by how they affect one another so you can identify weaknesses.
This way, you can know the changes you need to make for a more coherent approach to business. The seven stages of the model are:
- Strategy – Organizations must analyze their objectives and adapt to future changes to survive in the marketplace. This involves identifying problems and creating a plan of action to address them.
- Structure – Leaders must analyze their organizational readiness structure to see how people, activities, and machinery fit together. This way, they can identify the challenges and growth opportunities their structure will offer when implementing change.
- Systems – It is crucial to analyze daily activities and business processes, and the tools and people that undertake them to determine how large-scale change will affect them. This also involves putting these systems into custom reporting methods.
- Shared values – These are the core company values, influencing all aspects of its systems and people. As such, leaders must determine if these values can reinforce the change and the goals their organizations are trying to achieve.
- Style – Style refers to how change is adopted or implemented, so it is crucial to consider the behavior patterns of the key leadership groups. Analyzing these typical behavior patterns can predict how leaders will adopt and implement future changes.
- Staff –Your workforce's makeup, characteristics, capabilities, and roles also matter to determine how they will be affected by and react to change.
- Skills – Skills cover your employees' core competencies and the organization's capability as a unit.
ADKAR Change Management Model
The ADKAR Model is the brainchild of Jeffrey Hiatt, the founder of Prosci. It is a bottom-up method that prioritizes the individuals behind the change. It focuses on custom reporting of how a company deals with change.
Also, it is not a sequential method, as ADKAR is a set of goals that the company must reach as a collective. Each letter of the acronym represents one of these goals:
- Awareness (of the need for change) – Your employees must understand why change is necessary, and it is easy to convince them of this if you have evidence to back your plan.
- Desire (to partake in and support the change) – Awareness isn't enough to bring about change that people don't want to happen. Therefore, you must win the hearts and minds of your workers to get them to participate in and support the change.
- Knowledge (on the change process) – Everyone must know their role in the change management process to eliminate the uncertainty and anxiety regarding transformation.
- Ability (to implant the necessary skills and behaviors) – You may also need to provide extra training and coaching to employees to be empowered to fulfill their responsibilities. Employers who are well prepared and confident in their abilities to navigate change are less likely to resist it.
- Reinforcement (to solidify the change) – Regular reviews and incentives are excellent ways to help workers establish new habits that sustain the change.
The ADKAR Model also reduces resistance and speeds up implementation because it focuses on employees.
Consequently, it offers organizations pursuing sustained change a higher success rate than other models.
Kübler-Ross Five Stage Change Management Model
Psychologist, Elizabeth Kübler-Ross, detailed the five stages of grief in her masterpiece, ”On Death & Dying”.
The Kübler-Ross model is based on these grief stages because it breaks down how workers respond to change emotionally instead of logically. This method's five steps include:
Your workers may move through these five stages at random and even repeat steps.
As such, many change management specialists recommend communicating and empathizing with them to feel that their emotions are valid as they journey towards acceptance.
Maslow’s Needs Pyramid
Abraham Maslow theorizes that humans are motivated to fulfill their needs by following a hierarchy of importance to survival.
This theory can help in explaining why a worker's personal and work motivation can change in response to events that disrupt how their lower needs are met. The five conditions on the pyramid include:
- Physiological needs
- Safety needs
- Social and belonging needs
- Esteem needs
The theory assumes that people will revert to their basic needs in uncertain times, like a significant organizational change.
As such, leaders are encouraged to reassure workers of their job security to reduce their stress and the likelihood of getting resistance from them.
Also, this model assumes that you can motivate individuals by responding to their needs according to the hierarchy.
Therefore, it is crucial to ensure that all activities, engagements, and ongoing communications cater to the different motivations of your staff.
Your team's ability to adapt to change directly impacts your business’s bottom line. The thing is, there’s no unique way to embrace change.
The change management program you are about to implement depends on your industry, the company’s culture, as well as the business goals you're trying to achieve.
Driving and inspiring change is a challenge that most organizations are facing today. The times when stability and predictability were the main priority are over.
Market transparency, labor mobility, globalization, instantaneous communications, and constant access to information force us to get out of our comfort zones and change organizations.
But let’s face it, employees will rarely welcome significant change with open arms. Luckily, you can minimize the adverse reactions to change through proper management.
Therefore, select a change management model that will point you towards your desired outcome, ensuring that your path to successful change will be easier to navigate.
Furthermore, sustained support through transformation is vital, so you should leverage the appropriate change management tools to get the help necessary for significant organizational change.
Lastly, no change management approach is a one-size-fits-all solution, so it is best to understand and select one that suits your business needs or merge elements from them if necessary.