Change is something we have come to live it on a daily basis. New regulations, new requirements, new teams, new processes, new systems, new anything - change is nothing unususal. Yet, when a company needs to adapt to its environment and change its strategy or even transform into a new enterprise, perhaps by merging with or acquiring another company, the necessary changes requires more than a quick adaptation. In some cases change even requires a company to re-invent itself. Companies that outlived their market (such as the polaroid industry, the VHS systems or small photo cameras) have to find a new market, new products and new customers. This change or transformation often creates fear and uncertainty, while at the same time demanding a very high level of flexibility and diligence.

Leading a company through such a transformation is a challenge for leadership on all levels. Not all leaders are prepared for such a task, especially not, when they were grown out of the ranks based on functional expertise, knowledge and standing. Leading through a transformation is not just a matter of reorganisation, but more often a quest to move people´s minds towards a new direction, align their energy and enthusiam behind a new strategy and help them re-focus on completely new goals. Enabling performance in an environment of uncertainty and realignment becomes the primary objective for leadeship.

Many renown experts outline their approach to "Leading Change & Transformation". In my work I like to follow John Kotter, Professor at Harvard University, who focuses on the following eight steps.

  1. Establishing a Sense of Urgency
  2. Creating the Guiding Coalition
  3. Developing a Vision and Strategy
  4. Communicating the Change Vision
  5. Empowering Employees for Broad-Based Action
  6. Generating Short-Term Wins
  7. Leverage consoldiated gains to implement more change
  8. Anchoring New Approaches in the Culture

Your feedback is appreciated!