Summer reading: Change is hard

I was recently given the book Leading Change by Dr. John Kotter to enjoy during my beach vacation this summer. While originally published in 2000, the book is even more relevant today as society continues to rapidly develop with new technologies being unveiled every day.

Change is hard. Dr. Kotter has proven that 70% of all major change efforts enacted by organizations fail. As a leader in the hospitality industry, I often make changes that I believe will better both my employees and my guests. This book provided me a real road map for introducing change that I believe gives my team the chance to be even more successful. Dr. Kotter has proven over his years of research that following The Eight-Step Process for Leading Change will help organizations succeed in an ever-changing world. I wanted to share his eight steps below to help inspire change among your organization.

Step One: Establish a Sense of Urgency
Help others see the need for change and they will be convinced of the importance of acting immediately.

Step Two: Creating the Guiding Coalition
Assemble a group with enough power to lead the change effort, and encourage the group to work as a team.

Step Three: Developing a Change Vision
Create a vision to help direct the change effort, and develop strategies for achieving that vision.

Step Four: Communicating the Vision for Buy-In
Make sure as many as possible understand and accept the vision and the strategy.

Step Five: Empowering Broad-Based Action
Remove obstacles to change, change systems or structures that seriously undermine the vision, and encourage risk-taking and nontraditional ideas, activities, and actions.

Step Six: Generating Short-Term Wins
Plan for achievements that can easily be made visible, follow-through with those achievements and recognize and reward employees who were involved.

Step Seven: Never Letting Up
Use increased credibility to change systems, structures, and policies that don’t fit the vision;  hire, promote, and develop employees who can implement the vision; and finally reinvigorate the process with new projects, themes, and change agents.

Step Eight: Incorporating Changes into the Culture
Articulate the connections between the new behaviors and organizational success, and develop the means to ensure leadership development and succession.