Kotter’s 8-Step Approach and Organizational Management of Bright Minds Network

free essayOrganizational management is the process of getting people involved into particular activity on a specific matter in order to achieve the common goal. This process includes planning and control at the workplace and provides optimal use of the resources. Organizational management is directed to find the best approaches to performance improvement and establish efficient working environment. Organizational management gives the employees a direction of work and arranges the roles and responsibilities among members of the staff. Effective management is required to provide better coordination between various departments of the company. Thus, it is needful to focus on the essential features of organizational management.

According to ManagementStudyGuide.com, there are seven features that condition successful organizational management, such as planning, organizing, staffing, leading, control, time management, and motivation. In order to ensure effective work, company’s management should follow these step-by-step instructions. First of all, an effective business plan has to be prepared. Managerial staff should decide on the future course of actions. This will help avoid confusions regarding the direction of work later on.

Organizing includes preparing a monthly budget and efficient use of resources to achieve the best performance of the collective. As an addition to organizing, staffing refers to recruitment of the right professionals and creating the appropriate environment for them. This point is crucial in terms of the company’s overall performance since it depends on the employees’ qualification and efficient work.

Leading and control are the next steps of the implementation of the adopted plan. At this point, managers should set clear targets for the employees. They have to ensure that all team members should work together towards a common objective. In order to provide successful plan execution, managers have to control the employees’ activity and guide them if needed. This process requires concentration and good skills of observation. The involvement of the superiors and the right guidance will increase the employees’ performance and help them feel secure and supported in their work.

Finally, in order to achieve the best performance, the employees have to be motivated correctly. It is especially important regarding the projects with limited time of execution. An effective time management should solve the problems with the deadlines, and the right motivation of the workers has to increase their productivity.

These features are fundamental for the successful organizational management. Following these major steps will significantly increase the organization’s overall performance. Coordination of the employees’ work must be well-planned and structured. The qualified organizational management results in the rise of the team spirit, level of staff loyalty to the company, and quality of projects’ accomplishment. I would like to demonstrate how the organizational management works on the example of the company where I used to work.

Company Overview

The company that I used to work in is called Bright Minds Network. The company’s major activities lie in the area of writing custom essays. My position in this organization was referred to HR department and employees’ support. Among my major responsibilities was recruitment of the qualified writers and guiding them in the process of work. While working for Bright Minds Network, I acquired important knowledge regarding my specialty. However, I noticed certain imperfections in the organizational structure of the company. I decided to analyze these disadvantages and present my analysis in current research paper in order to explore the options for organization’s transformation.

Diagnosis

Analyzing the current situation, I picked out several issues that affect the company’s performance. As I explored the nature of these issues, I came to the conclusion that they are related to BMN’s organizational management. This fact witnesses the necessity of making changes to the company’s structure and approaches used in organizing the working process. These are the specific issues I would like to discuss:

  • setting short-term goals on the way to achievement of the major company’s objectives;
  • development of an adequate organizational plan;
  • ensuring clear vision of company’s future and employees’ place in it.

These features were not developed on the appropriate level in the Bright Minds Network company. It resulted in a decrease of efficiency and low productivity of the employees. Lack of well thought-out plans and proper organization of working process also affect the company’s profitability. The employees did not have a clear image of BMN’s future and were not sure about their places in the company’s hierarchy. My personal experience prompted me about the necessity of change in organization’s managerial approach.

Kotter’s 8-Step Approach

As I stated before, in this study I will examine Kotter’s 8-step approach and present my vision of this methodology. This approach corresponds with the subject of my research and explains certain issues of leading change. I would like to overview this approach and apply it to the discussed example of the Bright Minds Network company.

Dr. John Kotter is a former professor at the Harvard Business School and now Chief Innovation Officer at his company Kotter International. He has written numerous serious works on leadership and change. I would like to discuss his international bestseller Leading Change that outlined an effective 8-step process of implementing successful transformations. In 1996, Leading Change was named the number one management book of the year by Management General.

According to Kotter International website, “thirty years of research by leadership guru Dr. John Kotter have proven that 70% of all major change efforts in organizations fail.” This fact raises the question of causes of such high rate of failures. Dr. Kotter states that this happens as a result of organizations’ not taking a global approach that is required to see the change through. I will present the exact steps of Kotter’s approach and analyze them in relation to possible utilization of this process regarding the Bright Minds Network company.

In the first step of his approach, Kotter (1996) advises to create a sense of urgency. In order to do this, company leaders have to determine its state. There are three possible states defined in Kotter’s approach:

  • Complacency. This state is characterized failing to react to signs that certain action must be taken. It this condition company’s leaders often ignore the crucial moments when something has to be changed and assure themselves “everything is fine”, despite the actual situation;
  • False urgency. People seem to be busy; however, their actions do not help achieve the organization’s primary goal. This condition results in a decrease of productivity and inevitable burnout after all;
  • True urgency. Employees and management are seriously interested in making real progress every day. They are aware of the opportunities that come up all the time, and this motivates them to take action.

There are two the most common ways companies succeed or fail in the effort to establish true urgency. The major cause of failure at implementing change initiative is badly thought-out plan that is not supported with sufficient facts. On the other hand, leaders who know what they are doing and are able to carry their idea to their employees are likely to succeed at their effort. This kind of people are able to make the business case come alive with human experience, engaging the senses, creating messages that are simple and imaginative, and calling people to aspire. It is a good start, however, implementing this first step is just the top of an iceberg. Let’s continue our research and proceed to the next step.

In step two Kotter recommends creating the guiding coalition. This step refers to the matter of putting together the right people who will lead the change initiative. Kotter states that this factor is crucial to the success of this initiative. He argues that this coalition must have the right composition, a significant level of trust, and a shared objective (Kotter, 1996). The formed coalition should embody the following qualities (KotterInternational.com):

  • Position Power: Enough key players should be on board so that those left out cannot block progress;
  • Expertise: All relevant points of view should be represented so that informed intelligent decisions can be made;
  • Credibility: The group should be seen and respected by those in the firm so that the group’s pronouncements will be taken seriously by other employees;
  • Leadership: The group should have enough proven leaders to be able to drive the change process.

Step three requires development of a change vision. Effective visions have six key characteristics:

  • They are imaginable. It means that they convey a clear picture of what the future will look like;
  • They are desirable. These visions appeal to the long-term interest of those who have a stake in the enterprise;
  • They are feasible. These visions contain realistic and attainable goals;
  • They are focused. The clear enough visions to provide guidance in decision making;
  • They are flexible. It means that they allow individual initiative and alternative responses in light of changing conditions;
  • They are communicable. In other words, these visions are easy to communicate and can be explained quickly;

This kind of visions simplifies many more detailed decisions. They also motivate people to take action in the right direction. Finally, these visions help coordinate the actions of different people in a remarkably fast and efficient way.

Step four ensures that as many people as possible understand and accept the vision. There are few things that should be kept in mind when communicating the vision towards the employees. The vision should be simple and contain no techno chatter or jargon. It has to be vivid, meaning that usage of metaphors, analogies, and examples is appreciated. Ideas of the vision should be able to be spread by anyone to anyone. The vision should have invitational nature and encourage two-way communication.

Fifth step is about empowering broad-based action. In other words, it consists of removing as many barriers as possible and unleashing people to do their best work. Step six refers to generating short-term goals in order to visible, unambiguous success as soon as possible. This will encourage employees to work better since they will be rewarded for achievement of these goals. Steps seven and eight refer to control over the vision’s implementation and extension of these innovations into organizational culture.

Now that we examined Dr. Kotter’s 8-step approach, we may try to apply it to our particular company. The obvious steps we should take in order to make necessary changes are coordinating with the steps presented in Kotter’s methodology. First of all, we should change the organizational plan. In order to do this, we should follow steps three and four of Kotter’s 8-step approach. It will assist BMN’s managers in developing the right vision of change and spreading this vision to the employees. Step six of the Kotter’s process corresponds with the company’s issue with the short-term goals. Setting these goals will encourage people to work better and emphasize their significance to the company. Taking these steps should positively affect employees’ performance and open new horizons for the company. Following the instructions provided by Dr. Kotter will sufficiently increase BMN’s ability to make changes and take action whenever required.

The presented study revealed the issues related to organizational transformation and examined the researches on this subject. I reviewed the background of the organizational management and investigated organizational approaches. I also explained Kotter’s 8-step approach and applied it to the company where I used to work. I overviewed the company and performed the analysis of its organizational techniques in order to reveal their disadvantages. I explained why these techniques are not efficient and obtained the way of Kotter’s method adaptation. As a result of conducted research and analysis, I find out that there are many different ways of changes implementation into organization. However, I discovered that not all of them guarantee success. There are certain features of the successful organizational transformation and these features are well-described in Dr. Kotter’s 8-step approach. Analyzing these features helped me understand how organizational management works and what underlying issues may be present in this field. My findings improved my knowledge on the discussed subject and extended my vision on the related matters. I learned how to overcome the possible difficulties that may emerge and obtained useful experience. This research paper helped me a lot in the matter of acquiring necessary information and applying it to the given problem.

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