This week’s we’ve been discussing change along with social learning and how it effects an organization. I’m partial to using Dr. Kotter’s eight-step process to change. Dr. Kotter’s (2006) eight step process is as follows: create a sense of urgency; build a guiding coalition; form a vision; get buy-in; enable action/remove barriers; identify short-term wins; sustain acceleration; institute change. This does tie into the approach used by Schein (1980) unfreezing, changing, and refreezing.
Schein’s approach is broad and I believe that Kotter’s process falls directly into the categories as identified by Schein. However, it is important to note that Kotter’s approach does address social learning directly. It accomplishes this by having each character in the fable have a role that can be characterized as executing, influencing, relationship building, or strategic thinking as described by Rath (2008). Social learning as described by Bandura (1986) is a cognitive process in which people process information through observation and then act on it. This is seen in the fable when the characters interact during the first two steps of Kotter’s process and the unfreezing process in Schein’s approach.
From my experience the most difficult part of change management is instilling the sense of urgency or the unfreezing portion. To overcome the social norms of an organization it is important to develop a change vision that is attainable, paints a better picture of tomorrow, and has an intangible that the employees an customers can relate to. Once this is complete the organization can align their actions properly.
It is crucial that leaders understand the dynamics of social learning, change management, and communication in-order to mange their organization. By doing so they will be able to successfully guide their organization through the change required to ensure it’s success.
McLeod, S. A. (2011). Bandura – Social Learning Theory. Retrieved from http://www.simplypsychology.org/bandura.html
Kotter, J. P., & Rathgeber, H. (2006). Our iceberg is melting: Changing and succeeding under any conditions. New York: St. Martin’s Press.
Bandura, A. (1986). Social foundations of thought & action: A social cognitive theory. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Moran, R. T., Harris, P. R., & Moran, S. V. (2011). Managing cultural differences: Leadership skills and strategies for working in a global world. New York: Elsevier.
Schein, E. H. (1980). Organizational psychology. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Rath, T., & Conchie, B. (2008) Strengths-Based Leadership. NY: Gallup Press.