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John Kotter’s Eight Stage Change Process 1. Establishing a sense of urgency

6. Planning for and creating short-term wins

– E  xamining market and competitive realities – Identifying and discussing crises, potential crises, or major opportunities

– P  lanning for visible performance improvements – Creating those improvements – Recognizing and rewarding employees involved in the improvement

2. Forming a powerful guiding coalition – A  ssembling a group with enough power to lead the change effort – Encouraging the group to work together as a team

3. Creating a vision – C  reating a vision to help direct the change effort – Developing strategies for achieving that vision

4. Communicating the vision – U  sing every vehicle possible to communicate the new vision and strategies – Teaching new behaviors by the example of the guiding coalition

7. Consolidating improvements and producing additional change – U  sing increased credibility to change systems, structures, and policies that do not fit the vision – Hiring, promoting, and developing individuals who can implement the vision – Reinvigorating the process with new projects, themes, and change agents

8. Institutionalizing new approaches

5. Empowering others to act on the vision

– A  rticulating the connections between the new behaviors and corporate success – Developing the means to ensure leadership development and succession

– Removing obstacles to change – Changing systems or structures that seriously undermine the vision – Encouraging risk taking and nontraditional ideas, activities, and actions

From Fast Forward: The Best Ideas on Managing Business Change edited by James Champy and Nitin Nohria. Chapter title: Leading Change: Why Transformation Efforts Fail, author John P. Kotter pp. 93.

John Kotter’s Lessons: Why Transformation Efforts Fail Error #1: Not establishing a great enough sense of urgency Creating a sense of urgency may sound like an easy step, but the lack of a sense of urgency results in a lack of action. Chapter and council leaders may be visionary, well-intentioned, and energetic individuals; however, if they fail to embrace the purpose for a large-scale change effort or downplay the importance of the impending change in their communications with other highlevel student leaders and general members, things will stall before they even begin. In addition, urgency is difficult to create when the investment of those leading a group will transition in just a matter of months. This is where campus professionals, often the only institutional memory, can be helpful. A fraternity/sorority community evaluation forces the potentially unpleasant conversation about declining membership, weak programming and hazing, failure to partner among councils and chapters, lack of senior engagement, the condition of housing, lack of standards, poor judicial systems, lack of effective local volunteers, and other issues emerging in troubled communities.

Npower evaluation teams tour chapter facilities to get a sense of the quality of the structures and a sense of chapter culture (i.e. wall paper made of beer boxes, empty kegs used as table legs, party pictures on bulletin boards, that funky smell of ammonia, beer, and bleach, etc.). One campus client’s evaluation report created an initial sense of urgency about chapter housing. It was not until upper level administrators, Foundation leaders, and University trustees themselves took a tour through the chapter houses did they fully understand what their students experience every day and parents see when their students move in to the buildings. Urgency was created when the conditions of the community were brought to life in the report. Creating a sense of urgency to impact substantial community-wide change does not necessitate a full campus evaluation. Professionals can examine current campus examples as opportunities to create change. Some questions may be: •W  hat are the effects of crises on creating a community-wide sense of urgency for change?

•D  oes the immediate suspension/dissolution of a chapter due to hazing cause a total revamp of other chapters’ new member education programs? •D  oes a chapter house fire create enough urgency for local house corporation and chapter leaders to make significant changes in the chapter structures? Does it create a movement toward creating a long-range plan for the future of the chapter facility? •D  oes a student death from alcohol poisoning truly change behaviors and systems in a fraternity/sorority community? Error #2: Not creating a powerful enough guiding coalition Major change efforts often start with just one or two people. For example, often new and passionate campus fraternity/sorority professionals start change initiatives as soon as they begin their positions because they are excited to impact their communities. Unfortunately, the average 24-year old professional fresh out of graduate school, does not have the credibility or decision-making authority to make deep change happen at a systemic level regardless of their previous experience and their passion for the cause. continued on page 18 Winter 2007 / Perspectives


Profile for Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors

AFA Perspectives Winter 2007  

Perspectives provides a forum for research, innovative ideas, and information related to the advisement of fraternal organizations. It promo...

AFA Perspectives Winter 2007  

Perspectives provides a forum for research, innovative ideas, and information related to the advisement of fraternal organizations. It promo...

Profile for afa1976