Why Change and Transformation Programmes Fail - Part 2. Planning

03 May 2021

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Planning (Kotter) – personally, I don’t think anyone helps plan for transformation and change initiatives better than Kotter. His 8-Steps matrix is all-encompassing and thorough – if applied correctly, and there’s one issue. It also directly generates a number of subsequent reasons transformation/change initiatives fail – namely, Politics, Culture and Leadership. But, more on those later. From the start, Kotter hammers home the essential fact that any transformation/change initiative must be driven by a clear, unambiguous and transparent ‘Sense of Urgency’. Forget Vision, forget Mission, forget Values, they all come later. If there is no Sense of Urgency, you will not be able to bind all the various subsectors and subsections of your organisation into a cohesive body to manage transformation/change. Secondly, Kotter is essential in ensuring that any transformation/change initiative is armed with the correct balance of leadership (Guiding Coalition), from the outset – one that is capable, disciplined, committed and empowered to master and handle the organisation, politics, culture, and leadership required to be successful at transformation/change. Only once these two crucial support pillars are cemented into the foundations of any transformation/change initiative can the project be packaged and sold to its audience (Clear Vision)… etc.