Kotter and Public Sector Change

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Kotter and Public Sector Change

As a 2yr MBA student and a middle manager within the fire service, I'm investigating an organisational change programme.
I am interested to hear of public sector organisational change programmes that have been based upon Kotter's 8 step model. Does the model work for small and/or large scale organisational change within the (UK) public sector?

  David Wilson
Manager, Canada

Publci Sector Change and Kotter

Kotter's 8 step model is a top-down model and it works for small, medium and large change projects. It is not unusual for this model to be used in the public sector (at least in Canada). The model recognizes the need for a vision, guiding coalition and communicating the vision and any associated plan. I am sure you will agree that change is not always successful.
I believe change also need to include components of a bottom-up process. As a result, you may also want to consider Peter Senge's Dance of Change (1999) for some additional ideas.
Darryl Conner also talks about the need to be "ready for change." If an organization is not ready for change, the chance of successful change is diminished.
Cohen (2005) suggests four basic readiness elements:
1. Take the temperature
2. Identify the hurdles
3. Talk to the people in the trenches, and
4. Be prepared for push-back.
Senge also suggests a number of questions that need to be answered. See pages 166-167 and 187-188 in the Dance of Change.
Good luck on your programme.

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