Kotter Change Management Model

Kotter Change Management Model

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Kotter Change Management Model


The current world is changing at a high pace and thus ambitious businesses have to keep abreast to lest they are left behind. The business entities have to consider the latest updates to integrate into their business for them to remain relevant in the market (Kotter & Cohen, 2002). The major factor initiating change is the technological advancement that organizations have to factor in no matter how costly or difficult it might sound. Similarly, changes in the economy both domestic and globally might necessitate the organizations to undergo some structural adjustments failure to which they lose relevance in the market. For example, the cassette industry lost playground in the market after they became obsolete as the world adopted the CD and DVD technologies (Kotter & Cohen, 2002). Therefore, big companies like HP ought to maintain their infrastructural values, visions, regulations and policies up-to-date to cement their market dominance. This paper will evaluate how Kotter eight steps of change apply to HP Company and how they can be utilized to foster change. A comparison of theories of change management will also be evaluated.

The fact that HP is more connected to the technological industry where there is high rate of change dynamics, change becomes an inevitable component. Managing change is, however, the greatest task any given leader in an organization especially if it is met with some resistance will ever face (Cameron & Green, 2015). Instigating a change in an organization is essential but might be the most difficult task. The success that comes in handy with change relies heavily on how well one plans first as well as having readily available correctional mechanism. Deciding on the best model to instigate change within an organization has proven a challenge too. For instance, the Lean Six Sigma has been widely accepted and adopted tool for enhancing performance in the organizations (Cameron & Green, 2015). However, transforming into a lean organization and reap maximum benefits is still a difficulty among many organizations. According to research done, lean transition has shown a tendency of requiring emergent strategy that can only be found in the Kotter’s Eight-Step Change management Model (Kotter & Cohen, 2002). HP being a technological company the Kotter’s Model is the perfect fit.

Hewlett-Packard (HP) Company based in California, United States, is a global company that specializes in provision of both hardware and software components targeting consumers of all sizes ranging from small to medium sized, as well consumers from the corporate, governments, and those in the health sector (Malone, 2007). With such a high market coverage it makes it one of the sought-after companies ranking only second to Lenovo. The fact that HP is a technology company makes it thrive on readiness to change and organization learning. The company has adopted several transformations in the recent past that have retained their relevance in the technological industry albeit for some slight drawbacks (Malone, 2007).

Kotter, currently the head of research at Kotter International and also teaching the High Potentials Leadership Program at the Harvard Business School developed the model geared toward change (Kotter, 1996). As is indicated by the title the model is made up of eight steps that an organization must follow for a successful introduction and execution of change. The steps given in order include, create urgency, form a powerful coalition, create a vision for change, communicate the vision, empower action, generate quick wins, develop on the change, and anchor the changes in corporate culture. The HP Company is not an exceptional as it has to follow these eight steps for a successful introduction of change in the organization. The first step of creating urgency is perhaps the most important step in the Kotter’s Model as at least three-quarters of the management at HP have to buy the idea of change. Creating urgency in the company would further touch on other factors like studying the market and its level of competitiveness, identifying and discussing crisis, impeding crisis if any, potential opportunities or providing concrete examples from other organizations on the need for change. Forming a powerful coalition as a second step is equally essential and it will involve bringing the right people within HP Company that will steer forward change. In this step it is equally important that the company continues creating urgency about the change. Getting the right people to drive change in HP Company is a challenge but equally important as it will determine the extent in which change will prosper in the company.

The third step of creating a vision of change will involve rallying behind the management of the HP Company to come up with values that will be critical in driving change (Kotter, 1996). Creating a vision is significant in driving change as it aids the company develop strategies that will ensure that this vision is achieved. Kotter’s fourth step involves communicating the new vision to the organization. It is imperative that the new vision is communicated to all the stakeholders within the HP Company to avoid any possible future resistance. According to Kotter, the company can use any available means to communicate the new vision as well as strategies therein. Though Kotter noted that under-communication and inconsistency is highly common among many organizations it is important that this does not happen within the HP Company. Storytelling has been proven as the most powerful method of communicating the vision to the company’s stakeholders (Webster, 2012). However, it is imperative that communication is done on a continuous and multi-channeled basis to discourage any loophole for miscommunication. Furthermore, it is important to note at this step the significance of introducing new behaviors to the employees of the HP Company. This could be done by the coalition managers by communicating in advance the expected outcomes.

The fifth step of empowering action will involve putting prominence within the HP Company on eliminating all the possible barriers to introducing the necessary change in the company (Webster, 2012). To do this, it is important to change all the systems within the HP Company that seems to work against the company’s vision. Similarly, the barriers can be eliminated within the company by initiating some optimism through highlighting some inspirational or exemplary cases among the workforce that have undergone successful change in the past (Dearman, 2016). Also, rewarding highly achieving employees can further work to eliminate the revolt of introducing the new vision. It is also wise to encourage employees to rise up risky occasions and be innovative to build on their trust (Dearman, 2016).

The success of the sixth step that involves creating short-term wins lies heavily on how well a good plan for achieving visible performance is laid down within the HP Company (Kotter, 1996). It is important that those bringing forth the said performance are rewarded well to encourage further performance within the company. The management here play a crucial role of enhancing sustained employee accountability as well as ensuring that the projects undertaken sail through. The management also ought to devise new ways of completing projects whenever there is limitation of funds. The seventh step involves consolidating gains and producing more change. Kotter argues that it is wise that organizations do not start celebrating early the gains achieved so far as it may hamper momentum within the organization thus allowing revolt to develop within. Therefore, early partying would not be allowed in the HP Company but rather building on the success to advance more implementation plans as well as eliminating obstacles and soliciting more resources. It is important that the company add fresh blood as well promoting exemplary individuals who have contributed in supporting the vision at this stage.

The final step in the Kotter’s model involves incorporating and anchoring the new change into the culture of the organization (Webster, 2012). Within HP it is necessary that the new change is adopted as a new culture and made to stick within the company to withstand any possible future pressures that might arise. This can only be done by showing the correlation between the new approaches and the success that the company will enjoy. In his suggestion, Kotter argued that succession plans should be anchored on individuals who will drive forward the new vision both in the short-term and to the unforeseeable future. This will be achieved in HP by pushing the management of the company to enhance organizational learning as a key pillar in driving change as well as ensuring consistency in the management’s leadership style on matters integrity and accountability.

In conclusion, the Kotter’s Model is the perfect fit for initiating change in the HP Company; it does come with its own challenges. The major challenge comes from the employees’ tendency to resist change whenever it is introduced in the company. Nevertheless, it is important to soldier on keeping in mind the necessity of change for any company aspiring to retain relevance in the market like HP. Good to note though is that the company has demonstrated some clear measures for managing change by availing the required resources as well as boosting the opposers at the same time recognizing the efforts of those for change by rewarding them accordingly.


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