Books: “Leading Change” by John P. Kotter


Leading Change by John P. Kotter

Chapter 1, “Transforming Organizations”  Why Firms Fail”

Error #1:  Allowing Too Much Complacency

By far the biggest mistake people make when trying to change organizations is to plunge ahead without establishing a high enough sense of urgency in fellow managers and employees (4).

Error #2:  Failing to Create a Sufficiently Powerful Guiding Coalition (6)

Individuals alone, no matter how competent or charismatic, never have all the assets needed to overcome tradition and inertia except in very small organizations.

Error #3:  Underestimating the Power of Vision

In many failed transformations, you find plans and programs trying to play the role of vision (8).

Error #4:  Undercommunicating the Vision by a Factor of 10 (or 100 or event 1,000)

Without credible communication, and a lot of it, employees’ hearts and minds are never captured (9).

Error #5:  Permitting Obstacles to Block the New Vision

Perhaps worst of all are supervisors who refuse to adapt to new circumstances and who make demands that are inconsistent with the transformation (10).

Error #6:  Failing to Create Short-Terms Wins

Commitments to produce short-terms wins can help keep complacency down and encourage the detailed analytical thinking that can usefully clarify or revise transformational visions (12) 

Error #7:  Declaring Victory Too Soon

Until changes sink down deeply into the culture, which for an entire company can take three to ten years, new approaches are fragile and subject to regression (13).

Error #8:  Neglecting to Anchor Changes Firmly in the Corporate Culture

Until new behaviors are rooted in social norms and shared values, they are always subject to degradation as soon as the pressures associated with a change effort are removed (14).