In John P. Kotter’s book, Leading Change: Why Transformation Efforts Fail, he stated his beliefs that an organization can succeed by using his simple eight steps. He also lists the reasons why organizations fail and how to prevent these failures by following his simple steps. He draws from experience of observing different companies who have failed in the past. By these situations, he has gained insights as to why these companies failed and how the managers could have avoided such failures.
In the beginning of his book he addresses the problem of complacency. He states that it is the need for an organization to establish a sense of urgency for change to happen. The next step is to guide the employees of the following possible changes that could happen in the company. He emphasizes that if change is about to happen it should start with one to two people and to be able to retain it, a large number of people should put an effort to it. It is important that every constituent of the company believe in this change for it to happen (Kotter, 2007).
Organizations also usually fail because they underestimate the power of vision. That is why it is imperative for a large group to develop a strategy and envision it. To be able to succeed in this vision, the organization must communicate effectively. When communication is effective, the company can now empower the employees for a broad based action.
Kotter believe that managers often fail to create short tern goals and this may hinder the generation of bigger achievements. In addition, he said that some organizations declare victories too soon and end up not achieving their overall goal at all. Kotter stresses out the importance of these steps and says that organizations should follow this plan if they do not want to fail. He claims that these steps are not only efficient in achieving the company’s goal but it is also cost efficient (Ebalobo, 2009).
In this article, Kotter emphasizes the importance of establishing the urgency for change. By creating a sense of urgency for change, people in the company will see the need for change. Creating a sense of urgency also takes advantage of the opportunity or to deal with the issues that are holding back the company. Kotter says that without this urgency, the company will become complacent and may lose their status in the market (Tanner, 2015).
Before this process to be successful is that managers should understand that in this step process, they need to specifically know what or how the company needs to change. This will help the employees to see that it is critical for the company to move forward sooner than later. Kotter believed that if employees are complacent, there is no real reason for them to work on projects that can help change the company (Bozic, 2013).
Without this urgency, company will not gain employee interest and the company cannot convince these people to put an effort to any project because they believe that the company is doing fine. If the urgency cannot be established, the company will have a difficult time to move forward or to succeed in their goals.
Kotter also enumerated the forces which are working against the urgency for the needed change. If the company standards are low, employees won’t see the need for the change to happen. It is maybe because that the organization is too focused on smaller goals and forgets to look at the bigger picture. The system of performance may be designed in a way the employees almost always meet the objectives. For change to happen, company goals needs to be attainable and yet challenging in order to motivate its employees. The company also needs to give employees feedback about their work performance as inclined to its vision (Davis, 2015).
Kotter’s plan is based only on experience and not on any studies or logistics. That is the weak point of his article. He failed to take into account the logistic aspects of his method. He only built an idea by presenting the steps to success, but failed to add an advice on how to maintain it. Kotter’s method always pushes a company too strive for success amidst failures. However, the steps that he suggests need a lot of regulation and are time intensive. This method is very difficult to implement for a large corporation and communication can easily fail within the company. In any business, time is money, and these steps could damage the efficiency within the company.
The positive points of the article are that the author has presented from sound ideas. Despite the flaws of his theories, it can be a good learning foundation for students and professionals alike to learn how to manage organizations and corporations effectively. For a company to succeed, they need to follow time associated theories and the practicality of the method. Kotter stated these methods as to make it sound easy to implement. However, in reality, there may be instances that this can be difficult to execute most especially to a large corporation which consists of several companies.
Bozic, M. (2013). Article Spotlight: Leading Change: Why Transformation Efforts Fail - Navigate. [online] Navigate. Available at: http://www.navigatecorp.com/article-spotlight-leading-change-why-transformation-efforts-fail/ [Accessed 20 Jun. 2015].
Davis, B. (2015). Establishing a Sense of Urgency in Kotter's Model: Definition & Explanation | Study.com. [online] Study.com. Available at: http://study.com/academy/lesson/establishing-a-sense-of-urgency-in-kotters-model-definition-lesson-quiz.html [Accessed 20 Jun. 2015].
Ebalobo, D. (2009). Management Book Reviews: "Leading Change: Why Transformation Efforts Fail," by John P. Kotter. [online] Teachingpr.org. Available at: http://www.teachingpr.org/management_book_reviews/2009/11/leading-change-why-transformation-efforts-fail-by-john-p-kotter.html [Accessed 20 Jun. 2015].
Kotter, J. (2007). Leading change. [S.l.]: Harvard Business.
Tanner, R. (2015). John Kotter On The Urgency of Change. [online] Managementisajourney.com. Available at: https://managementisajourney.com/john-kotter-on-the-urgency-of-change/ [Accessed 20 Jun. 2015].