Leading Rapid Change

October 09, 2012

By Christine Riordan CFI.co

In today’s accelerated business environment, the ability to anticipate and actively lead change on a daily basis is essential for leaders.

John Kotter is a well-known expert on how to lead change. He lays out six important areas for effecting change: creating a sense of urgency, creating a compelling vision, forming a guiding coalition, communicating widely to gain alignment, gaining short-term wins and momentum, and integrating the changes into the culture. His advice is invaluable for understanding the process and leadership of change.

However, to successfully direct change, you must go beyond Kotter’s six areas and manage yourself. As a leader, you must also understand your own personal reactions to transitions and adaptations, because your own actions are viewed as symbolic and inspire emotion and action in others. Managing yourself through change is essential to leading others through change, and leading change should be a top priority in your own activities. Making it so will help others foresee and embrace the coming changes that will help your organization thrive in an accelerated environment.