The 8 Steps to Success

What are the 8 steps to success?

I want to review John Kotter’s 8 Steps to Success to help you take action in relation to your team no matter where they are in the process of change.

These eight steps show you what you can do at each step to move your team forward.

1. Create a sense of urgency - Help others see the need for change and the importance of acting immediately.  

2. Pull together the guiding team – You need to make sure there is a powerful group guiding change. This group needs to be made up of people with credibility who have leadership skills, communication skills, authority, analytical skills, and who can convey a sense of urgency.  

3. Create a change vision and strategy – Clarify how the future will be different from the past and how you can make that future a reality. Communicate the change vision and strategy to the team. 

4. Communicate for buy-in – Make sure as many people as possible understand and accept the vision for change and the strategy for making it happen – this includes the team and any stakeholders. Provide regular updates. Lack of communication during the change process is a recipe for disaster. This is where most change programmes fail because they lack understanding between all the key stakeholders in the venture. 

5. Empower others to realise the change vision – Remove as many barriers as possible to change so that those who want to make the vision a reality can do so.  

6. Produce short term wins – Create some visible, unambiguous successes as soon as possible. Celebrate successes within the team and encourage them to capture their successes, challenges, opportunities, and development daily using reflective journals. Whenever positive feedback is received, share within the team and across the business if appropriate. The sooner you start to celebrate success with your team; the faster others want to be recognised for their achievements, too. Each success is a catalyst for further change and success so that eventually, celebrating success and changing behaviours becomes habitual.  

7. Don’t let up – Press harder and faster after the first successes. Be relentless with initiating change after change until the vision is a reality. Make sure you don’t self-sabotage your success before you reach your final goal. A one per cent improvement for each person on your team individually could add up to a 10 per cent increase in performance across the whole team. That means if everyone commits to an improvement of just one per cent, you could potentially move mountains. It is important that your team understands how their individual contribution fits into the bigger vision on a daily basis. 

8. Anchor change in the culture – Encourage your team to hold on to the new ways of behaving and make sure they succeed until they become strong enough to replace old traditions. Change is never straightforward, and there will always be challenges along the way.  

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