Changing situations with intimidating difficulties occur at various stages of personal, community and business life. Having a basic process for successful change in place, ready to be customized to address changing situations in life, community and business, is critical. From time to time, “Renaissance Rules” will review and comment on “Change Models” that seem worthy of consideration while crafting and living a “Renaissance Life”.
In the business fable “Our Iceberg is Melting” (St. Martins Press, 2006, http://www.amazon.com/dp/031236198X/?tag=beaurich0193-20 -not an affiliated link), John Kotter and Holger Rathgeber presented an “8-step change model” to address unavoidable change.
I found parts of their approach to have applicability to the process of attaining “living a Renaissance life”, particularly in the Recapitulation and Reformation stages of that journey. Very briefly, their “8 steps” can be summarized as follows, quoting the key phases and 8 steps, then paraphrasing a brief clarification statement for most of them:
“SET THE STAGE:
1. Create a sense of urgency, but not panic, and take the issue to the right people. Prepare in advance to address emotional aspects of a challenge, a normal component that can greatly impact the potential for successful change.
2. Pull together a guiding team, with strengths to guide the change, including leadership skills, credibility, communications ability, authority, technical skills and a sense of urgency. A diverse team is needed, since “the brass” is not equipped to perform all of the hard tasks.
DECIDE WHAT TO DO:
3. Develop the vision and change strategy. Identify the goal of change and how to recognize completion before starting. Trying to implement too many change initiatives may indicate that this step has not been performed satisfactorily. Vague, poorly envisioned, “multiple” initiatives foster burnout and resistance.
MAKE IT HAPPEN:
4. Communicate for understanding and buy-in.
5. Empower others to act by removing barriers impeding action in the new direction, including lack of empowerment or competencies training.
6. Produce short-term wins. Tangible successes sap skeptics’ power, and at best, bring them aboard the change initiative.
7. Don’t let up. Even after an incremental win, keep momentum going relentlessly until the end goal of the change is reached.
8. Create a new internal culture, taking and communicating actions to make it stick.”
I would add a publicly accountable feedback loop to this model, including the means and flexibility to use it positively, to “Course Correct” along the way.
If this approach interests you, please consider reading this short book to absorb the import of Kotter and Rathgeber’s concept as they intended it.