The
first step is to create urgency. For the change to occur, the whole company
must really want it. Developing a sense of urgency around the need for change
may spark the initial motivation to get things moving (2). If a lot
of people start talking about the need for change, the urgency can build
itself. To help create a sense of urgency you can collect data and opinions
from colleagues, stakeholders and industry people to back up the need for
change. For the change that occurred within my department, centralising DWP
workplace adjustment cases under one name to minimise the workload on the
understaffed team, data was collected to show the increasingly long time scales
that customers were experiencing, feedback from the team to highlight their
dissatisfaction with the current process and also showing the benefits that
would come about if the cases were centralised. These factors created urgency
for a need to change the process.  

Step
2 is to form a powerful coalition. It takes strong leadership skills to
implement change and also to manage the change. You have to lead the change for
it to be successful. Effective leaders can be found throughout your
organisation. They don’t have to be colleagues higher up in the hierarchy but
people who can be beneficial to the change process and have expertise you
require. A coalition team should include influential people who are from a
variety of departments including job title, status, expertise and political
importance (2). Once created, the team needs to work together to
continue to build momentum and urgency around the need for change. Key
stakeholder should be identified to include in the coalition team as their
input can be vital (2). The team should also be emotionally committed
to the need for change (2). The team should also have a good mix of
people from different departments and have different levels within the company (2).
For the change within my department, a coalition team was formed to lead the
change. This consisted of our Senior Civil Servant, Jonathan Russell, the
workplace adjustments team manager, Michele Lake and members of the workplace
adjustments team. They were all committed to the need for change as the result
of the change would have a positive effect on the team and also a positive
effect on our customer service.

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Step
3 is to create a vision for change. When the first thought of change occurs,
there can be many ideas floating around. So it is good to create some sort of
vision so you know where you are going with the change and the steps that need
to be followed in order to implement the change. A clear vision can make the
concept of change clearer for everyone involved and they are aware of what they
need to do (2). When they can see what you are trying to achieve,
the task that are allocated to them make more sense as to why they are doing
them (2). A short summary can be developed to capture what you “see”
as the future if your organisation (2). Everyone in the coalition
team should be able to describe the vision to other people clearly and
concisely (2). For the change within my department, the vision was
to improve our customer service by decreasing waiting times and to centralise
cases under one name on the system so that everyone could help chip in and not
just one person would have a big work load. The whole team was part of
conveying that vision to the team and also the external contractors that
supplier the furniture and book the occupational health appointments.

Step
4 is to communicate the vision. The change that you are trying to implement may
possibly face resistance from day one. You must communicate the vision
frequently and embed it into everything that you do (2). The vision
should not just be spoken about once in a while. It should be communicated
every chance you get. It should be used to make decision and solve problems (2).
The more you talk about the vision the fresher it will be in everyone’s minds
and people may discuss the change more. It is also to lead by example; you
should demonstrate the kind of behaviour you want from others so they follow
your lead (2). When communicating the vision it can cause some
anxiety amongst the people the change will affect. It is good to communicate
with them and address their concerns openly and honestly (2). The
vision should also be applied to all aspects of the operation and everything
should tie back to it (2). The vision for centralising cases was
communicated on a daily basis to everyone who was involved. This kept the topic
fresh on everyone’s mind and the topic was never forgotten about or pushed to
the side.

Step
5 is to remove any obstacles faced. By following the previous steps, you should
be well underway managing the change. However, there may come a point where you
face obstacles. This can be people or objects. You should continuously look for
barriers and remove them as quickly as possible. Removing obstacles can empower
the people you need to execute your vision and it can help the change move forward.
Change leaders should be identified whose main roles are to deliver the change,
recognise and reward people for making change happen, identify people who are
resisting the change and help them see why the change is needed and also openly
and honestly discuss why they are resisting the change (2). The
fewer obstacles there are can put more confidence in the change and make
implementing the change that little bit smoother. When implementing the change
of centralising the cases, there were very few obstacles that were faced. The
one obstacle that was faced was that people were unsure of who the process
would run after the change had been implemented. This obstacle was removed by
talking to these people and showing them how the process would run and the benefits
after the change.

Step
6 is to create short term wins. Nothing motivates people more than success. It
is good to give the company a taste of victory even in small doses throughout
the course of the change process. This shows that the change process is
successful. To create short term wins, short term targets must be created that
are achievable with little to no room for failure. The win can help motivate
people within the coalition tam but also the organisation as a whole. Targets
should be chosen that aren’t expensive and that can be achieved within a short
period of time. Also reward the people who are part of the team. By making them
feel valued will motivate them to help the change cause more. When implementing
the change of centralising the cases, when a target was met it was highlighted
and communicated amongst the whole team to show that change was occurring and
it was successful.

Step
7 is to build on the change. Kotter argued that many change projects fail
because victory is declared too early (2). Quick wins are only the
beginning of what needs to be done to achieve long term change. You need to
keep looking for improvements after the change has occurred.  Each success provides an opportunity to build
on what went right and to identify what you can improve (2). Even
now the change has occurred within my department and the cases have been
centralised, we are always looking for ways to improve and to make the process
even more efficient.

The final stage of Kotter’s
8 step change model is anchoring the changes in corporate culture. To make the
changes permanent it should become part of the core of your organisation (2).
The values behind your vision must show in day to day work. You should make the
effort to ensure that the change in seen in every aspect of your organisation (2).
This will help give the change a solid place in the business (2).  It is important that the organisations
leaders’ continue to support the change and existing and new staff who come
into the organisation should support the change. If you lose the support of
these people, then you might end up back where you started and have to start
the change process again. The change within my department is still supported by
the whole team as the process has become more efficient and customer and
employee satisfaction has increased.