Leadership & Change

“Change is nothing new and a simple fact of life. Some people actively thrive on new challenges and constant change, while others prefer the comfort of the status quo and strongly resist any change. It is all down to the personality of the individual and there is little management can do about resistance to change” (Mullins and Christy 2013).

Managing Change:

Change is something that is inevitable in everyone’s daily life regardless whether it is about daily lifestyle, business work, technological advancement and many other more. Everything a person faced is on a constant motion and movement to in order for better improvement and also to remain in the current competitive market (Garner 2006). Hence, referring to the statement proposed by Mullins, I agreed that changes are inevitable and it is all down to the personality of the individual to develop changes.

Organizations are thrive to meet constant changes will certainly improve over time and as everyone would know that changes doesn’t happen overnight. Hard effort and constant determination will bring a person somewhere sooner nor later. However, people whom preferred to linger in their comfort zones and resist any changes will not be able to cope up with the society these days. According to Mullins, the reasons behind a person’s resistance to change are mainly because of fears of failure, and also fear of the unknown (Mullins and Christy 2013).

Role of Managers in Organization Changes

In an organization, managers play an important role in avoiding and overcoming resistance to changes. In order to manage a team to provide and make changes to the current situation, a manager should always keep in mind that a successful change in organization involves the employees. Many employees aren’t ready for changes are mainly because they fear of failure, and also fear of the unknown (Mullins and Christy 2013). In order to instill confidence in employees, managers should motivate and provide adequate amount of relevant trainings to initiate changes in people. By having relevant knowledges and skill sets, this could aid employees’ growth, allowing them the willingness to develop changes. (Rick 2016).


Figure 1: Kotter’s eight steps to Change Management model (Kotter 1996).

Kotter’s eight steps model briefly explains how it is to make changes to the management. This model proposed by Kotter provides an overall checklist on what are the procedures needed to abide during a changing process (Kotter 1996). The first two steps is the main reason why Kotter’s model is highly recommended as it creates a form of urgency of what is needed to be changed and to form a strong relationship with people to work towards the change (Gough 2009).

Steps   Explanations
1 Create the need of urgency

The stage where the manager sense there is an urgent need of changes. This would provide the initiating factor to make changes by identify potential threats, understanding future scenarios and hold honest feedback and meeting to discuss on these matters.


2 Forming a powerful coalition

This stage is where people convince one another that changes are required. Strong leader and good team should be addressed and build a strong relationship to work as a team to continue gaining momentum to build the urgency for the need of change.


3 Create a vision for change

This is the stage where the entire team work together to develop a vision by asking one another what are the things that is needs to be change. Upon having a clear vision, the team will work towards the vision.


4 Communicate the vision

This is the stage where the team will work towards the vision. As a leader, this is the part where the leaders must show an example of leadership of “walking the talk”. He develop what is needed to change and he works towards it.


5 Empowering broad-based action

Working towards a vision will definitely ignite barriers and difficulties. This is the stage where the team works together to eliminate such barriers and difficulties and continuously work towards the vision to make changes.


6 Create short-term wins

Working on small changes that creates small wins will benefit the team member as this would motivate the team hungry for more success. If none, this will be a negative effort which will slow down the team towards making possible changes.


7 Build on the change

With the small changes made through short term wins, continuously to make effort to make more changes that is needed to make continuous improvement needed for the organization. Many teams decided to stop at stage 6 because victories were declared to early at that stage and many decided to slow down.


8 Anchor the changes in the corporate culture

From the change developed and built, ensure that the changes made will be sustained from time to time. The leader and team should always be on standby and ready for new opportunities and hungry for continuous improvement for the organization.

Source: (Ramakrishnan 2014)

Regardless of how effective this model can be, there are also limitations when it comes to practicing this model; below is a table to provide necessary understanding on the limitations;


Inflexible approach to adhere

As mentioned by Kotter himself, the eight steps develop by him must be followed in sequence in order to develop changes. The shows the rigid approach of the model itself (Kotter 1996).


Irrelevant steps

Certain steps in the Kotter’s model maybe not be required by an organization to practice as those steps has already been develop at the beginning of the day before the model was even put into practice (Joshi 2013).


Example of Organizational that is Open for Changes


Figure 2: Google Headquarters [Source (O’Rourke 2016)]

As a technological company, the needs to open for changes is necessary because being in the technological industry where constant innovations and changes occur from time to time, the competition is fierce. For example, back in 2014, Google whom decided not to be only as a leader in search engine but as well in other related diversified field such as email server system, Gmail, publishing digitized books through Google Books, navigate people around the world using Google Maps, published news through Google News, developed storage system, Google Drive, invented wearable products, Google Glass and many more (George 2015).

Constant changes in innovations proved that Google shows effective direction to their employees of the vision and mission of the organizations thus empowering and motivate them to improve their overall performances in the company.


Example of Organizational that Resist to Change:


Figure 3: Kodak’s Logo [Source: Kotter 2012]

Kodak is an example of an organization which resist to change back in the early days when of film photography. Until the development of digital cameras to replace film and smartphone to replace cameras, Kodak begun losing market shares drastically because of their resistance to move into the digital world and not taking any action to combat the inevitable challenges (Kotter 2012). The mentality of the upper executive believe in their current product was perfect enough is what cause the downfall of the company (The Economist 2012).


            To sum things up, the need to change is inevitable and it is required as part of an improvement towards standing strong in the current competitive market. The resistance to change would not bring a business anywhere it is indeed common due to the fear of failure and unknown. Hence therefore, managers should work together with employees to find a way to change and improve the company towards a brighter, secured and sustained establishment.

[805 words]


Garner, L. (2006) Everything I’ve Ever Learned About Change. London: Hay House

George, B. (2015) The World’s Most Innovative Company [online] available from <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/bill-george/the-worlds-most-innovativ_b_8406556.html&gt; [2 November 2016]

Gough, V. (2009) Organizational Change: Which Model Should I Use? [Online] available from <http://www.trainingzone.co.uk/lead/culture/organisational-change-which-model-should-i-use&gt; [31 October 2016]

Joshi, U. (2013) Change Management Model. Kotter 8 Steps Model

Kotter, J. (2012) Barriers to Change: The Real Reason Behind The Kodak Downfall [online] available from <http://www.forbes.com/sites/johnkotter/2012/05/02/barriers-to-change-the-real-reason-behind-the-kodak-downfall/#5b5f1836985e&gt; [31 October 2016]

Kotter, J. (1996) The 8-Step Process For Leading Change – Kotter International [online] available from <http://www.kotterinternational.com/the-8-step-process-for-leading-change/&gt; [31 October 2016]

Mullins, L. and Christy, G. (2013) Management & Organisational Behavior. 10th edn. Harlow: Pearson

O’Rourke, A. (2016) What Defines Your Company Culture? – Bplans Blog [online] available from <http://articles.bplans.com/defines-company-culture/&gt; [31 October 2016]

Ramakrishnan, S. (2014) Change Management Models [online] available from <https://www.scrumalliance.org/community/articles/2014/march/change-management-models&gt; [31 October 2016]

Rick, T. (2016) Successful Change Management Involves The Employees [online] available from <https://www.torbenrick.eu/blog/change-management/successful-change-management-involve-the-people/&gt; [31 October 2016]

The Economist, (2012) The Last Kodak Moment? [Online] available from <http://www.economist.com/node/21542796&gt; [31 October 2016]