As China macroeconomics is going to a steady growth via adjusting its supply side, we can expect that this economic change is making some impacts on individual and business sides. For impacts on the business side, we recently found some companies are scaling down their business scopes and operations in China, especially for the foreign ones in China market. For sure they would make some critical changes for their next shows with their scaling down of businesses in order to seize market shares in China market, including outplacing the current management team with fixed mindset and hiring the new one with growth mindset and willingness to drive changes. This is the starting point to have right people with right mindset and willingness to drive and champion changes. However; we also found that these newly onboard managers with the eagerness to make changes always fail on the implementation of changes especially while they are facing the resistance from people with silo thinking and fixed mindset inside the organization. Hence; I would like to introduce a typical change management framework designed and proposed by John P. Kotter on 2006 about how to lead changes in the organization so that we can base on it to drive our changes which can stand at a great probability to succeed.
Step 1: Establish a sense of urgency
As a leader, you must possess a radar to sense and understand your current market status quo. Based on your experience and understanding of the market you are playing in now, you shall be able to forecast the possible risks and opportunities for you to mitigate and seize them respectively. Besides; you shall also demonstrate your capabilities in letting at least 75% of your managers understand that we are now in a dangerous market which would make negative impacts on our business and survival in the coming future.
Step 2: Form a powerful guiding coalition
As a leader, you shall be able to form a critical team with the members who have same thoughts on the company’s purpose, and why changes are and possess the commitment to lead and drive changes. Besides; you need to always encourage them to work closely to ensure changes happening. Moreover; you shall bear in mind one thing that this team does not need to be assembled with a clear hierarchical structure.
Step 3: Create a vision
When being a leader to lead changes, you shall be able to create a vision with your change agents and let this aligned vision as the north star to guide your change efforts. Moreover; you must be able to work with your coalition to design and implement strategies, tactics, and action plans in order to make your aligned vision come true.
Step 4: Communicate the vision
After creating the vision, as a leader in championing changes, you need to fully utilize all communication channels to communicate your vision to all staff in your organization leveraging all-hands meeting, communication collaterals, internal dedicated website promotion, and one-on-one regular talk and top management update, to ensure everyone is on the same page of understanding, interpreting and conveying such vision. Besides; you can also educate employees on how to realize the vision and implement changes via the role models and successful cases from your coalition’s demonstrated behaviors.
Step 5: Empower others to act on the vision
As a leader driving changes, we encourage you to be able to remove all roadblocks, including those in systems, structures, processes, and roles and responsibilities, which will stop your changes and undermine your aligned vision happened. On the other hand; you shall be able to publicly encourage and recognize right behaviors that are reasonably risk taking, innovative, and change-oriented etc.
Step 6: Plan for and create short-term wins
Being a leader, you shall be able to work with your coalition to clearly define each milestone of change management. Once the organization, team, or staff will reach some milestones, you shall recognize and reward them for their contribution, achievement, and even an incremental improvement in a tangible, visible, and feasible way.
Step 7: Consolidate improvements and produce more changes
During the change management processes, you and your coalition shall be proud of what you have done so far from your quick wins to enhanced systems, structures, processes, and roles & responsibilities and openly and transparently share these with high credits with all employees in the organization. Moreover; you can openly hire, promote, and develop right people with right mindset and behaviors which can help you realize your vision and make changes happened. Once you will get more wins and buy-in from employees internally, you can launch the next change projects via your newly identified change agents.
Step 8: Institutionalize new approaches
In the last step, you are suggested to institutionalize and connect your wins and change successes with right demonstrated behaviors and make these right behaviors as successful business cases and required competencies for you to standardize change management in the organization. Moreover; you can leverage these required competencies, successful business cases, and right behaviors to help you develop your future leaders and enhance your succession plans.