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Kotter Change Management Model

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There are two parts to this assignment.

Part One: Identify a change that you implemented or was implemented at an organization with which you are familiar.


Write a 1–2-page paper. Based on the two articles you read in the discussion preparation, discuss what impact an organization’s corporate culture have on maintaining and sustaining change? What steps need to be taken to ensure that a newly implemented change becomes part of the organizational culture and address missed key factors that reversed change (if applicable in the implemented change you’re discussing)? Submit a 1-2-page paper.

Use at least one quality academic resources in this assignment. Note: Wikipedia and other similar Websites do not qualify as academic resources.

Part Two: Using First Independence Bank (FIB) apply Kotter’s eight steps of change management to an HR situation you have selected for change. You will address all eight of the Kotter steps, developing an action plan for each step. Submit a 4–6-page paper.


Write a 4–6-page paper in which you: Ascertain how each of the steps applies to FIB. Develop a strategy that illustrates how you would address each of the eight stages of change:

1. Establishing a sense of urgency.

2. Creating a coalition.

3. Developing vision and strategy.

4. Communicating the vision.

5. Empowering broad-based action.

6. Generating short-term wins.

7. Consolidating gains and producing more change.

8. Anchoring new approaches into the culture.

Use at least five quality academic resources in this assignment. Note: Wikipedia and other similar Websites do not qualify as academic resources.

Rubric: Kotter Change Management Model

Ascertain how each of the steps applies to your specific organization.–

Levels of Achievement:

Unacceptable 0 (0.00%) points

Needs Improvement 5.25 (3.75%) points

Competent 5.95 (4.25%) points

Exemplary 7 (5.00%) points

Develop a strategy that illustrates how you would address each of the eight stages of change: Establishing a sense of urgency.–
Levels of Achievement:
Unacceptable 0 (0.00%) points

Needs Improvement 10.5 (7.50%) points

Competent 11.9 (8.50%) points

Exemplary 14 (10.00%) points

Develop a strategy that illustrates how you would address each of the eight stages of change: Creating a coalition.–
Levels of Achievement:
Unacceptable 0 (0.00%) points
Needs Improvement 10.5 (7.50%) points
Competent 11.9 (8.50%) points
Exemplary 14 (10.00%) points
Develop a strategy that illustrates how you would address each of the eight stages of change: Developing vision and strategy.–
Levels of Achievement:
Unacceptable 0 (0.00%) points
Needs Improvement 10.5 (7.50%) points
Competent 11.9 (8.50%) points
Exemplary 14 (10.00%) points
Develop a strategy that illustrates how you would address each of the eight stages of change: Communicating the vision.–
Levels of Achievement:
Unacceptable 0 (0.00%) points
Needs Improvement 10.5 (7.50%) points
Competent 11.9 (8.50%) points
Exemplary 14 (10.00%) points
Develop a strategy that illustrates how you would address each of the eight stages of change: Empowering broad-based action.–
Levels of Achievement:
Unacceptable 0 (0.00%) points
Needs Improvement 10.5 (7.50%) points
Competent 11.9 (8.50%) points
Exemplary 14 (10.00%) points
Develop a strategy that illustrates how you would address each of the eight stages of change: Generating short- term wins.–
Levels of Achievement:
Unacceptable 0 (0.00%) points
Needs Improvement 10.5 (7.50%) points
Competent 11.9 (8.50%) points
Exemplary 14 (10.00%) points
Develop a strategy that illustrates how you would address each of the eight stages of change: Consolidating gains and producing more change.–
Levels of Achievement:
Unacceptable 0 (0.00%) points
Needs Improvement 10.5 (7.50%) points
Competent 11.9 (8.50%) points
Exemplary 14 (10.00%) points
Develop a strategy that illustrates how you would address each of the eight stages of change: Anchoring new approaches into the culture.–
Levels of Achievement:
Unacceptable 0 (0.00%) points
Needs Improvement 10.5 (7.50%) points
Competent 11.9 (8.50%) points
Exemplary 14 (10.00%) points
Five References.–
Levels of Achievement:
Unacceptable 0 (0.00%) points
Needs Improvement 5.25 (3.75%) points
Competent 5.95 (4.25%) points
Exemplary 7 (5.00%) points
Clarity or coherence in presentation and writing mechanics–
Levels of Achievement:
Unacceptable 0 (0.00%) points
Needs Improvement 5.25 (3.75%) points
Competent 5.95 (4.25%) points
Exemplary 7 (5.00%) points
Met formatting requirements, including one page summary for presentation option.–
Levels of Achievement:
Unacceptable 0 (0.00%) points
Needs Improvement 5.25 (3.75%) points
Competent 5.95 (4.25%) points
Exemplary 7 (5.00%) points


Habits as

By Daniel Denison and Levi Nieminen

Lasting changes must be embedded

deeply within the fabric of an organization.

Changes that don’t “stick” won’t improve

the performance or effectiveness of an

organization. A useful framework for

understanding the deeper human and social

elements of organization change is the

organizational culture perspective.

Over 30 years of scholarship has shown
that culture can be either a potential
springboard or a potential barrier to

change within organizations, and that ultimate-
ly, culture is a key driver of business performance
(Sackmann, 2011). Recent advancements in
practice now allow change professionals to use a
well-researched set of tools to diagnose organiza-
tions and to plan interventions to create change.

VOLUME 37/ISSUE 1 — 2014 23


Embedding Change in
“the Deep Levels of
The “iceberg model” is the dominant way of
representing the multiple layers of culture
(Schein, 1985).Above the water’s surface,
artifacts are the visible, tangible manifesta-
tions of culture in various attributes of the
physical workplace. Just below the surface,
espoused values characterize the preferences
and aspirations that are shared within the
organization and which contribute to a
shared sense of identity and meaning. Behav-
ioral norms and work practices also reside
at this level, constituting “the way things are
done around here.” And in the deeper water,
far below the surface, lie the beliefs and
assumptions—the underlying mindsets—
which shape the culture at a fundamental
level and influence its manifestation at all
other layers. Together, these visible and
invisible layers comprise the culture of an
organization (see Exhibit 1).

As a conceptual model, the iceberg creates
an awareness of depth for practitioners, rein-
forcing the idea that much of what drives
behavior in the organization is hidden from
plain view. This, of course, encourages us all
to look for those deeper factors, making nec-
essary a set of diagnostic tools and method-
ologies that are up to the task. The iceberg
also focuses the point of change intervention
at the deepest level, at the layer of underlying
beliefs and assumptions. According to the
theory, it is this deepest layer that is the most
consequential for the organization—this is
the part of the iceberg that “sinks the ship”—
and hence where the most crucial action
needs to be focused. Accordingly, change
needs to be embedded at this same depth to
have a lasting impact within the organiza-

The iceberg model has had a profound influ-
ence on both the academic study of culture
and the way in which practitioners affect
culture change in organizations. This three-
level model has often been interpreted to
suggest that changes must be targeted at one
of the three different levels. Interventions at
the levels of visible behaviors or values are
sometimes downplayed in favor of the points
of leverage that exist in “the deeper levels of
culture.” Because beliefs and assumptions
are cognitive, in that they reside in the mind-
sets of people, this suggests the most
impactful interventions ought to be “psy-

chological” in nature. In a practical context,
this frames the intervention in a way that
might either be construed as ‘off limits’ (i.e.,
not modifiable) or “off putting” to business
leaders (i.e., generating skepticism or nega-
tive stereotypes).More importantly, we
think it misses an opportunity to address the
targets of change that span across these three
levels emphasized by the iceberg model.

The habits and routines that span these three
levels of culture guide much of what happens
within organizations, yet they have received
little attention from organizational scholars

For the individual, habits are both functional
and, sometimes, problematic. Personal habits
provide structure and constancy, reduce
uncertainty, and free up cognitive resources
for a select number of complex tasks. Habits
can also be dysfunctional, such as when they
are expressed rigidly despite a context mis-
match (i.e., mindlessness) or when individuals
fail to appropriately switch between auto-
matic and effortful behavior (Luis & Sutton,
1991). The powerful effect of personal habits
has been studied in a wide range of situations,
from healthcare to the workplace and com-
petitive sports (e.g., Grant & Schempp, 2013).

Organizations, too, have habits and routines (i.e.,
larger, sequenced bundles of habits) which set them
apart and provide internal structure.

and practitioners. It is here, in these “auto-
matic” and repetitious behaviors that practi-
tioners can find a powerful point of leverage
to affect the change process, deep within

Habits: Old and New,
Good and Bad
Drawing on neuroscience, Graybiel (2008)
provides a technical definition of habits as the:

sequential, repetitive, motor, or cog-
nitive behaviors elicited by external or
internal triggers that, once released,
can go to completion without con-
stant conscious oversight (p. 361).

Decades of research has shown that habits

• predominantly acquired through experi-
ence and interaction with the environment;

• are repetitious and can become resistant to
change, such as in addiction;

• are performed with little conscious thought
or effort;

• can be elicited by environmental or inter-
nal cues; and finally,

• the expression of habits can be behavioral
or cognitive, such as in habits of thought
(Graybiel, 2008).

Habits also appear and are enacted with
consistency among and within groups of
people, from families to societies. Organiza-
tions, too, have habits and routines (i.e.,
larger, sequenced bundles of habits) which
set them apart and provide internal structure
(Pentland & Feldman, 2003). Habits are
inherently cultural. They reflect all three
levels; the underlying assumptions about
“the way we do things around here,” the
values that those assumption represent, and
the visible behavior and artifacts that we can
see in action. Functionally, they capture the
organization’s specific knowledge that has
been created over time and then translate
that knowledge into action in an efficient
way that conserves energy and resources.
Denison, Hooijberg, Lane, and Lief (2012)
developed a useful framework (see Exhibit
2) that puts habits and routines into one of
four categories based on two aspects: good
or bad and old or new. Each combination
calls for a different set of possible actions.

Bad, Old Habits: Unlearn and Leave Behind.
Bad habits are “like chains that are too light to
feel until they are too heavy to carry,” as War-
ren Buffett said. Often, we are too late to
realize how restrictive our old habits have
become and miss the opportunity to do some-
thing about them. Unlearning these
well-established habits can be very difficult,
but that is exactly what needs to happen. To
leave behind bad, old habits, organizations
need a clear focus on the areas of consensus
about these targets for change. With a clear

VOLUME 37/ISSUE 1 — 2014 25

focus, organizations can start building prog-
ress and momentum and develop the experience
and conviction to take on bigger challenges.

Good, Old Habits: Preserve and Strength-
en. In the midst of organizational change,
it can be easy to forget to protect those ele-
ments of the culture that made the
organization great. Some of the old and
well-established habits and routines from
an organization’s past are still essential to
the organization’s success in the future.
They are clearly understood by the organi-
zational members, make up a key part of
the organization’s mindset, and are closely
linked to other aspects of the organization’s
functioning. Therefore, it is vital for orga-
nizations to clarify the core habits and
routines that they need to preserve and

Bad, New Habits: Rethink and Try Again.
During the time of change initiatives, orga-
nizations attempt to create various new
habits and routines. However, culture
change requires a lot of trial and error. Cre-
ating a new set of habits and routines does
not always mean that they are going to work
as intended the first time and fit the situation
well. The culture of every organization rep-
resents its wisdom accumulated through
years of experimentation. Enlightened trial-
and-error is critical when trying to create the
new habits and routines to transform an
organization’s culture.

Good, New Habits: Invent and Perfect. The
opportunity to create new habits might be the
most exciting part of the culture change pro-
cess. However, creating new habits and
routines is difficult, as there are several pieces
to the puzzle. Mindset, behavior, and systems
must all change together to reinforce the
adaptation process for the organization.
Organizations cannot simply change people’s
mindsets, prescribe a new set of behaviors to
follow, or mandate a new system. Instead,
organizations need to persistently push hard-
er and harder on all three of those levers at
once, until signs of success manifest and
encourage others to join in to help build the

Analyzing an organization’s culture as a
bundle of habits that fit into these four cat-
egories serves to focus the discussion on key
areas of consensus that reveal a targeted and
practical agenda for change.

When driving successful changes, leaders
choose the “keystone habits” that can have
the biggest impact on the organization.
Below are three real case examples that illus-
trate the role of keystone habits in creating
successful and sweeping change in organiza-

Identifying Keystone
Habits: Three Case
One of the inspirations for our attempts to
understand how organizations identify the
keystone habits that are the most promising
targets of intervention comes from Charles
Duhigg’s best-selling book, The Power of
Habit (2012). In this book, Duhigg tells the
story of the early days of Paul O’Neill’s term
as CEO at Alcoa. After a long struggle to find
some targets for improvement that would be
supported by both the management and the
workers at Alcoa, O’Neill decided to put his
emphasis on safety. During a time when
there was little alignment between manage-
ment and the workers, this was the area that
he saw as being most likely to build collabo-
ration. The organization set the goal of
having zero injuries, and the main point of
intervention was that all injuries, world-
wide, must be reported to the CEO’s office
within 24 hours. The best way to solve this
problem, or course, would be to have no
injuries. Though the goal of zero injuries was
not achieved, both management and the
unions learned to move fast with a level of
transparency that was unprecedented.

This safety effort took serious commitment
by everyone involved, but in the end it was
very effective. The unexpected impact was
that changing this single set of habits and
routines concerning the way that the organi-
zation managed safety incidents created a
level of transparency that was new to the
organization. The company discovered that

Often, we are too late to realize how restrictive our
old habits have become and miss the opportunity to
do something about them. Unlearning these well-
established habits can be very difficult, but that is
exactly what needs to happen.



it could share information about perfor-
mance, about best practices, about business
opportunities to a much greater degree than
it had in the past. So, these underlying beliefs
about transparency and collaboration spread
broadly throughout the organization.
O’Neill credits this process with leading
Alcoa to a dynamic, new level of perfor-
mance that lasted for most of the decade.

A second habit change example involves the
Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) of
New York City, which manages all public
transportation in and out of the city. This
includes a high-volume subway system,
which carries an average of 5.4 million pas-
sengers per day (1.6 billion per year)!
Servicing the 820 miles of track comprising
the subway system is a major and ongoing
task, one of several maintenance functions
that are crucial to keeping the trains moving
and the people on them safe. In the past, all
maintenance to the tracks was done on the
weekends, late at night when the train vol-
ume was lowest. With the crews repairing
the tracks in the short windows between
oncoming trains, the maintenance work was
slow, expensive, and quite dangerous. How-
ever, the old strategy was deeply engrained
in one of the MTA’s strong points of pride:
keeping the trains moving, no matter what
and at all costs! The keystone habit in this
case directly challenged this point.

In 2010, the subway system experienced a
number of high-profile safety incidents, cul-
minating in a worker fatality in April and
then a blizzard in December that left some
passengers stranded in train cars for over 12
hours without food, water, or heat. Follow-
ing these incidents, an unprecedented
decision was made to stop the trains. The
president of the Department of Subways,
Carmen Bianco, architected a program
called FastTrack to identify and shut down
whole sections of track for maintenance
beginning at 10 p.m. and reopening the fol-
lowing day at 5 a.m. For the first time, this
allowed service workers uninterrupted
access to the tracks, signals, cables, and
other rail components. Initially, the public
reaction was a widespread outcry. Subway
passengers, like MTA workers, were unac-
customed to any interruption to service.
Over time, however, the sweeping, positive
effects were staggering! FastTrack improved
productivity, saved money (estimated sav-
ings of $16.7 million in 2012), cut accident
rates nearly in half, and increased train reli-
ability by nearly 5%. The successful
implementation of this program was no

small strategic and operating feat, but at the
core, the MTA achieved a shift in one fairly
simple keystone habit: they can stop the

A final example involves GE Healthcare Chi-
na.1 GE entered an emerging Chinese market
in the early 1990s. In the decade that fol-
lowed, GE expanded its anesthesia business
through the acquisition of two companies,
Datex-Ohmeda and Zymed, both of which
were strong global brands with a presence in
China. Zymed became the center-point of a
new and growing business, Clinical Systems
Wuxi (CSW) in Wuxi, China. CSW was
responsible for the design, engineering, and
production of anesthesia equipment. The
rapid growth of this business exposed
increasing weaknesses in quality and declin-
ing customer reputation, eventually resulting
in the business halting distribution of prod-
ucts for a period of time.

In 2007, a new general manager was appoint-
ed, Matti Lehtonen. It was clear to Lehtonen
that restoring quality and customer service
should be the top strategic priorities moving
forward. Lehtonen and his senior team
implemented a simple yet extremely power-
ful intervention by requiring their engineers
to visit operating rooms and witness their
anesthesia equipment being used in live sur-
gical procedures. In this case, a single
habit—sending people out to where the cus-
tomers are—had a profound set of cascading
effects. Seeing the equipment in use added
new meaning and clarity about the purpose
of the work and provided the engineers with

1 For more on this case, see Denison, Hooijberg, Lane, &
Lief (2012).

a deeper appreciation and understanding of
the specific needs of multiple end users,
including the patients, the doctors and nurs-
es, and the hospitals and insurers. Over time,
this keystone habit did help to restore qual-
ity and customer reputation. It also
broadened the role and skill set of the engi-
neers and became a focal point for talent
recruitment and retention. Moreover, it
opened up new insights and new product
innovations, and by 2010, one of these new
products was shipping to emerging markets
all over the world!

From these case examples we can begin to
learn some useful principles for targeting key-
stone habits as high impact areas of action.
Below, we outline three principles for change
management professionals to consider.

Principles for
Intervening on
Keystone Habits

Principle 1: The diagnostic process
should differentiate keystone habits
from ordinary habits by looking for
impact and interconnectedness.

Like most change efforts, the process begins
with diagnosis. The cascading effect seen in
Alcoa was described by Duhigg as seren-
dipitous, but acting intentionally to modify
or build keystone habits calls for a reliable
diagnostic process that pays attention to the
right factors. Practitioners need to develop
the skills (and methodologies) to identify
and distinguish keystone habits from ordi-
nary habits. Each of the case examples above
highlights two interrelated factors that can



d Preserve









Leave Behind



Try Again

Old New

VOLUME 37/ISSUE 1 — 2014 27

Graybiel, A. M. (2008). Habits, rituals, and
the evaluative brain. Annual Review of Neu-

roscience, 31, 359-387.

Louis, M. R., & Sutton, R. I. (1991). Switch-
ing cognitive gears: From habits of mind to
active thinking. Human Relations, 44, 55-76.

Feldman, M. S., & Pentland, B. T. (2003).
Reconceptualizing organizational routines
as a source of flexibility and change. Admin-

istrative Science Quarterly, 48, 94-118.

Mallidou, A. A., Cummings, G. G., Schalm,
C., Estabrooks, C. A. (2012). Health care aides
use of time in a residential long-term care unit:
A time and motion study. International Jour-

nal of Nursing Studies, 50, 1229-1239.

Sackmann, S. A. (2011). Culture and perfor-
mance. In N. Ashkanasy, C. Wilderom, & M.
Peterson (Eds.), The handbook of organiza-

tional culture and climate, 2nd ed., 188-224.
Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Schein, E. (1985). Organizational culture and

leadership. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass

New habits are unlikely to take hold in organizations
without diligent and concerted efforts for socializing
and embedding them.

help to focus the diagnostic process: key-
stone habits are linked to the organization’s
effectiveness (impact), and keystone habits
are tightly interwoven with other habits,
routines, and processes in the organization
(interconnectedness). This means that
intervening on keystone habits is likely to
have a cascading effect, so that change
started in one place leads to many other
changes in many other places. For example,
the act of eating together strengthens the
social bonds within the family but also
aligns a number of the habits and routines
leading up to and following the mealtime.

Principle 2: Keep the scope of inter-
vention small by tapping into the
right habit(s) and affecting scalabil-
ity through the repetition of this

When it comes to intervening on keystone
habits, the “scalability” of impact is hardly
determined by the size or scope of the inter-
vention. Habits are repetitious. Some are
repeated on a daily or weekly basis and oth-
ers moment to moment. This is a powerful
reminder that the best interventions will
stay focused and tap into the right habits
rather than attempting to “boil the ocean.”
As one example of a small habit with large
impl icat ions , Mal l idou, Cummings ,
Schalm, and Estabrooks (2012) found that
minor interruptions in nurses’ interactions
with patients, such as when called to assist
another patient or staff member, have a
significant deleterious effect on patient care
and health outcomes. A simple but power-
ful intervention in this context could
redefine the keystone habit as “staying with
your patient to completion of each interac-
tion.” Of course, this might also require
unlearning some bad old habits, such as
responding to all requests, even the minor
and nonessential ones.

Principle 3: Use storytelling and
celebration to “ritualize” the perfor-
mance of keystone habits.

New habits are unlikely to take hold in orga-
nizations without diligent and concerted

efforts for socializing and embedding them.
We think that finding ways to reinforce key-
stone habits and make their performance
rituals within the organization is an important
part of the solution, so that the desired behav-
iors take on greater symbolic and psychological
meaning over time. The meaning of rituals is
often created and reinforced through storytell-
ing and celebrations, or as Durkheim
suggested, through the communication of
social norms that distinguish the “sacred from
the profane” (as cited by Boyce, Jensen, James,
& Peacock, 1983). These are opportunities for
the organization, often leaders, to clarify the
value of the new, good habits and the need to
extinguish the bad, old ones.

Viewing organizational cultures as bundles
of habits and routines, we believe that “key-
stone habits” in particular can serve as
powerful leverage points for change manage-
ment professionals seeking to embed their
work deep within organizations. Daunting as
culture diagnosis and intervention may be,
focusing on small habits with big implications
might be the best place to start and a great
way to ensure that the change does far more
than scratch the surface.

Boyce, W. T., Jensen, E. W., James, S. A., &
Peacock, J. L. (1983). The family routines
inventory: Theoretical origins. Social Sci-
ence and Medicine, 17, 193-200.

Denison, D., Hooijberg, R., Lane, N., Lief,
C. (2012). Leading culture change in global
organizations: Aligning culture and strate-
gy. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Duhigg, C. (2012). The power of habit: Why
we do what we do in life and business. New
York: Random House.

Grant, M. A., Schempp, P. G. (2013). Analy-
sis and description of Olympic gold medalists’
competition-day routines. The Sport Psy-
chologist, 27, 156-170.

Daniel Denison is Professor of
Organization and Management
at the International Institute
for Management Development
(IMD) in Lausanne, Switzerland
and Chairman of Denison Con-
sulting. Since receiving his Ph.D.
in Organizational Psychology
from the University of Michigan,
Dr. Denison has authored numer-
ous books and journal articles
describing his research and con-
sulting linking organizational
culture to bottom-line business

Levi Nieminen is the director of
the Research & Development
group at Denison Consulting in
Ann Arbor, Michigan. He com-
pleted his doctorate in Industrial
and Organizational Psychology
from Wayne State University. His
research focuses on the intersec-
tion of organizational culture and
leadership as interrelated drivers
of organizational effectiveness.

Copyright of People & Strategy is the property of HR People & Strategy and its content may
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individual use.

Copyright of People & Strategy is the property of HR People & Strategy and its content may
not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder’s
express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for
individual use.

Management Services
Spring 2015

Sustaining change in
manufacturing companies
By Bob Lillis and Marek Szwejczewski

W hy do changes stick in some organisations, while
in others they peter out and decay? After all, for
most companies, it is a strategic imperative to

sustain change and its associated performance improvement.
Sustainability means that the new working practices and the
improved performance persist for an appropriate period of
time. The change has become the norm. It is ‘how we do things
around here’ and is not a one-off or a temporary improvement
but is on-going. Unfortunately, the failure rate of change
initiatives is high – 70-90% are believed to fail.

While studies have focused on the factors that minimise
initiative failure and help ensure the successful implementation
of the change, far less is understood about how to sustain
the initiative once the initial implementation period is over.
For example, research into change initiatives specifically in
manufacturing organisations, have tended to cohere around

either how to implement total quality management (TQM)
successfully or the success factors affecting the process of lean
production implementation. However, the most comprehensive
study into how to sustain any organisation’s change initiative
once it has been successfully implemented, was that carried
out by Buchanan et al (2005). Their thorough review of what
is known and written about sustaining organisational change
identified a set of 11 common factors. The outline definitions of
these factors are shown in Table 1.

For example, the influence of Leadership is commonly
accepted as important in successfully sustaining change. This
factor would include facets such as, has the senior leadership
team established a clear and consistent vision? Is the Leadership
also leading the change once the implementation phase is
over? Considering the factors in Table 1 and outline definitions
at face value, what is missing is any understanding of the

Management Services
Spring 2015 41


Leadership Setting the vision, goals and leading the change
Individual Employees’ individual commitment
Managerial Managerial style, approach, and behaviours
Financial Balance of costs and benefits
Substantial Perceived centrality, scale, fit with organisation
Organisational Policies, procedures, system, and structures
Cultural Shared belief, norms, and values
Political Stakeholder and coalition power and influence

Processual Implementation methods used
Contextual External conditions and threats
Temporal J Timing and pace of change activities

Table 1: Buchanan et al (2005) factors with definitions.

Job Title

o f Years
in Role

Number of
A ffected by
the Change

Duration o f
the Change
(in years
and all

Sector___ _________

Operations site
human resources


5 800 3.5 Food processing

Deputy vice
president 5 100 1.5 Engineering

operations director 3 18,000 1.5 Metals

Production manager 15 80 1.5 Petrochemical
Regional operations
manager 4 100 2.5 Chemicals

Production manager
Managing director

10 50 3 Chemicals


General Manager 3.5 300 3.5 Semiconductors
Head of integration
compliance 4.5 200 3.5 Telecommunications

Service director 6 400 3.5 Machinery
Global environment
manager 4 55,000 4.5 Chemicals (paint/

Operations director 4 170 4.5 Cement
Plant controller 4.5 200 4.5 Car accessories

Managing director 6 50 6.5 | Plastics
Table 2: Respondents’ identification and interview sample.

relevance of all 11 factors in different contexts and the
respective influence that each individual factor may have
on encouraging sustainability. For instance, does employees’
individual commitment to sustaining the change outweigh the
managerial style, approach and its behaviours? Is Leadership
more important than the Financial factor to sustaining change?
In other words, do some factors have more impact than others
on successfully sustaining change? In this article, we report
preliminary findings from stage one of a two stage research
project which sought to answer these questions.

Research study
We divided the study into two separate but interconnected
empirical stages. The first consisted of in-depth interviews
with executives from 13 manufacturing companies which
had sustained a change initiative in their business. During
this stage, we investigated the relevance of the 11 factors.
Several propositions were developed, some of which are
reported here. Stage two seeks to test these propositions in
three manufacturing companies, one of which is Maserati in
Italy. We will be reporting the results of the second stage in a
subsequent issue.

The interviewees in stage one came from a sample of
individuals who had attended one of our courses at Cranfield
School of Management. In seeking an interview with a
particular manufacturing manager or manufacturing director,
we knew in advance that the potential respondent’s business
had undergone a change initiative, although the length of the
change period was unknown to us at the time of the interview
request. Table 2 provides a list of interviewee job titles, how
long the job holder had spent in that role, the number of
employees in the company affected by the change initiative
and the manufacturing sector of the business.

The duration of the change initiative varied from a minimum
of 1.5 years to 6.5 years and all were still ongoing. We felt
these periods of time would be of an appropriate duration to
justify a change initiative being called ‘sustained’.

Stage one findings

Extent of


influential at the
start becoming
less influential
as change was
Not influential
at the start
more strongly
influential as
the change was
Did not appear
to influence
or arise as

13 1 4 10 1

7 3

7 6 7

6 3 6

12 13

Findings suggest that most of the factors had a role to play in
sustaining change, but their influence varied depending on the
stage of the change programme. Four types of influences were
gleaned which are shown in Table 3. These were:

i) The factor was strongly present at the start of the change and
throughout the change period.

ii) The factor was strongly present at the start of the change
but its influence waned as the change continued.

iii) The factor was not strongly present at the start of the
change but became more influential as the change

iv) The factor was not seemingly influential at any point in the
change or appears not to have arisen.

The research results of stage one indicated that 10 of the 11
factors identified by Buchanan et al (2005) had an impact on
the sustainability of change initiatives. The analysis of the
interview data indicated that the Temporal factor (the timing

Table 3: Frequency o f influence o f the 11 factors across the 13 companies.

Management Services
Spring 2015

and pace of the change initiative) did not appear to contribute
to sustainability in our sample and is therefore not included in
Table 3.

The interviews suggested that factors differed in when they
had most influence. Based on the analyses, several propositions
were developed. The four propositions we consider to be of
most interest were:

P1 Leadership [setting the vision, purpose, goals, and challenges]
remains strongly influential throughout the duration of a
sustained change programme

P2 Political [stakeholder, coalition power and influence] is at
its most influential in the early stages of a sustained change

P3 Managerial [managerial style, approach, behaviours] is at
its most influential in the later stages of a sustained change

P4 Individual [employee’s individual commitment] is at its
most influential in the later stages of a sustained change

Our data analyses in stage one also provided some interesting
interactions between the various factors. So for example, at
company 2 in the engineering sector, whose change period
at the time of interview had been 1.5 years and affecting
100 employees (Table 2), the factors Substantial, Financial,
Leadership, Political, Processual and Contextual were strongly
present at the start of the change programme and had
remained so throughout its duration. Four of the factors namely.
Individual, Managerial, Organisational and Cultural were not
strongly present at the commencement of the change but
became more influential as the change continued.

In addition, we were also interested in whether the company
had replaced its Managing Director or Chief Executive Officer
at the commencement of the change programme. We believed
that this could have been an important factor in sustaining
the change. It transpired that 7 of the 13 companies were so
affected and on the basis of these statistics, we consider the
impact of replacing a company’s MD or CEO on sustaining a
change programme is inconclusive and requires further research.

Sustaining change is not a simple procedure. Our research
findings suggest that managers need to put emphasis on
different factors at different stages of the change. It has long
been recognised that Leadership is important at the start of the
implementation process. Our research supports this view but in
addition points to just how critical it is later in the life of the
initiative. The leadership cannot afford to reduce its efforts once
the change initiative has been successfully launched. If it takes a
back-seat and hands over to the management team, such action
will invariably lead to sustainability failure.

The influence in sustaining change of the political aspect is
often forgotten. It is assumed that having good Leadership is
more important. However, concern with the political aspects
of the change initiative is vital if it is to be sustained. In the
interviews, most of the senior managers pointed to the fact that
they had obtained obvious and visible support for the initiative
from various stakeholders at the start of the implementation.

The research also suggests that getting the commitment of

the Individuals in the organisation at the start of the change
process may not be as important as some claim. However, to
succeed, the Leadership needs to get the commitment from most
of the Individuals once the implementation is complete in order
to sustain the change. A successful initiative launched can be
achieved w ithout the vast majority being committed. However,
once the implementation phase is over, if the vast majority
of Individuals are not committed then the initiative is likely
to peter out and fail. The Managerial factor is also important
in sustaining the change initiative but only at the later stage
of the process. Managers have an important role in helping
the leadership team to ensure that the new ways of working
introduced by the change initiative are adhered too.

The research is still ongoing in stage two, with one case study
completed and a further two currently being conducted. Therefore,
it is too early in the study to categorically state the respective
influences of the various 11 factors on sustaining change in
manufacturing companies. We hope the research, by indicating
which factor to focus on during the various stages of the change
programme, will ultimately prove helpful to those manufacturers
keen on making change initiatives in their organisation stick.

Buchanan, D, Fitzgerald, L, Ketley, D., Gollop, R, Jones, J L,
Sharon Saint, L, Neath, A and Whitby, E (2005). ‘No going back:
A review o f the literature on sustaining organizational change’,
International Journal o f Management Reviews, Vol 7, No 3, pp

About the Authors
Dr Bob Lillis is senior lecturer in service operations management
at Cranfield School of Management, Cranfield University
Dr Marek Szwejczewski is professor of operations strategy
at Cranfield School of Management and Director of the UK’s
Best Factory Award Scheme. To find out more about sustaining
organisational change, email

Copyright of Management Services is the property of Institute of Management Services and
its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the
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articles for individual use.



Assignment: Diagnosing Change

Student Name

Lecture Name



Assignment: Diagnosing Change

Part One

Change Implemented by Daniel Oliveira

Daniel Oliveira was sent to work in a Clothes and Accessories store in Vitoria’s central business district. Since the 1990s, this store’s productivity had been steadily deteriorating. Oliveira was put in charge of reversing the store’s decreasing performance and bolstering its gradual expansion. Oliveira tried various modifications to the shop in an effort to accomplish his goal. When Oliveira arrived at his new office, he met with outgoing manager Sara Carvalho, who gave him a quick rundown on the space and the company’s culture. He surveyed the shop after getting to know every employee through her. The first thing he saw that required adjusting was the window display. They were inadequately stocked; hence, the initial adjustment was to focus on operational enhancements.

During his first week on the job, Oliveira made it a priority to introduce himself to each member of staff in an effort to forge lasting relationships with them. Then he convened a meeting of the store’s upper management to present and discuss his ideas for the establishment’s enhancement. He instituted a special “urgency code” for use by the store’s cashier and dressing room attendants. When the department’s main phone line received more than three calls at once, all staff were expected to answer them. He even instituted hourly activity-based planning in some areas, replacing the previous system of assigning roles and responsibilities. When he sensed disinterest in his ideas among the store’s employees, he went so far as to initiate a weekly meeting with the management staff.

He had specific ideas about what improvements needed to be executed in the store, and he made every effort to achieve these adjustments. Even after his laborious efforts, he was met with hostility at the store. Daniel Oliveira was only twenty-two years old, although the store’s employees were very seasoned and had been in the company for decades. They did not find it authentic to follow a person who was too young.

Kotter’s eight-step for Leading Change

The eight phases outlined by Kotter are aimed to facilitate business-wide transformation and improvement. The subsequent actions are as follows: The first step is to prioritize the analysis of the crisis and external variables, as well as the identification of major prospects. Oliveira followed this procedure as the first duty he performed when he arrived at work was a comprehensive review of the external circumstances and the store’s deficiency (Cameron & Green, 2019). The next step entails assembling a team with sufficient leadership capacity to implement major changes. Oliveira made a concerted effort to know each member on a personal level and even convened a regular meeting to generate employee passion and commitment for implementing big changes. He shared his thoughts and intentions for bringing about change with all the colleagues. The third stage is accurately realizing one’s vision.

Oliveira devised numerous implementation tactics for his vision. The fourth phase is to communicate to gain consensus. This step is designed to utilize every technique feasible to describe the adjustments. To accomplish this step, Oliveira collaborated with every shop department. He did so to establish rapport with his staff so that improvements could be executed swiftly and comprehensively. The fifth stage provides instructions for empowering action, which entails removing every conceivable barrier to implementing the change. Oliveira did nothing to replicate the action. The store’s employees resented the changes, however Oliveira did not remove them and instead worked harder to interact with them. The final steps consist of achieving minor victories and ensuring that change is sustainable. Oliveira was unable to adopt the following procedures since there was no cooperation from workers; therefore, he needed to enhance the store’s culture before he could implement them.

One of the Steps from Kotter’s Steps

In making changes to the store, Oliveira did implement several of Kotter’s suggestions. In doing so, he succeeded in creating a sense of more urgency. Oliveira looked at all of the environmental components and conditions that were there. Both the external influences and his own deficiencies were examined, and he made adjustments accordingly. He made an effort to alter the store’s successful strategy, to make it more appealing to the public, and to better serve his consumers in any way he could. Even more so, he regularly assisted all of his coworkers and spoke with them individually. As a result, Oliveira was aware of the full scope of the options available to him. Given the store’s decline, this was a crucial move in identifying and addressing the root causes of the problem. If Kotter’s methods had been followed, significant improvements would have been made in the workplace. Due to his inexperience, Oliveira failed to realize the need of implementing certain strategies. To gain the backing of his entire staff, he had to repeat the procedures with greater intensity.


Cameron, E., & Green, M. (2019). 
Making sense of change management: A complete guide to the models, tools and techniques of organizational change. Kogan Page Publishers.

Part Two

Describe the company in terms of industry, size, number of employees, and history.

First Independence Bank (FIB) is a community bank that operates in the financial services industry. It is a relatively small bank, with the size and number of employees likely varying depending on the specific location. However, the bank has a long history of serving the communities in which it operates. As a community bank, FIB provides a wide range of banking products and services to individuals, families and small businesses. These products and services include personal and business checking and savings accounts, loans, and other financial products (First Independence Bank, 2022). The bank is focused on providing personalized and attentive service, and is committed to building long-term relationships with its customers.

FIB is also committed to supporting and investing in the communities it serves. The bank is involved in many local community initiatives, such as supporting local schools, charities, and non-profit organizations. This is a major part of the bank’s mission to serve the financial needs of the communities in which it operates. In terms of history, FIB is a relatively old bank. The bank has been serving the communities for several decades. The bank is one of the most respected and established banks in the region. It has been providing reliable and quality service to the customers for many years. The bank’s reputation for providing excellent customer service and support has helped it to establish a loyal customer base over the years.

FIB’s size and number of employees may vary depending on the specific location, however, the bank is known for its commitment to hiring and developing talented and dedicated employees who share the bank’s values and mission. The bank is also committed to providing its employees with opportunities for growth and development, both professionally and personally.

Analyze in detail the current HR practice, policy, process, or procedure that you believe should be changed.

At First Independence Bank (FIB), the current HR practice that should be changed is the recruitment process, onboarding, training, and performance evaluation. The recruitment process at First Independence Bank is not effective in bringing in top talent as it relies heavily on referrals and networking while neglecting other sources of potential candidates. Job postings are often outdated or incomplete and do not include detailed job descriptions nor qualifications, thus deterring potential applicants (Griffin Bennett, & York, 2020). In addition, a lack of sufficient marketing and outreach limits the number of qualified candidates which could be brought in. To improve the recruitment process, FIB should implement more targeted recruiting strategies, tap into online recruiting sites, reach out to universities and other job search channels, and create detailed job listings that make clear the specific requirements and properties of each position.

FIB’s onboarding process should be strengthened in order to ensure a positive and successful employee experience. Currently, there is little to no focus on new hire orientation and onboarding, leaving new hires feeling overwhelmed and confused about their roles. FIB should create more comprehensive onboarding programs for new hires, including orientations and informative sessions about the company, its culture, and how to succeed in the role (Griffin Bennett, & York, 2020). Such programs should include thorough training on the organization’s policies, processes, and technologies. Furthermore, regular check-ins should be conducted to gauge new hire’s progress and provide further guidance or resources when needed.

The training programs at the institution need to be updated in order to ensure that employees are kept up-to-date on the latest industry trends and changes. Currently, the training process is ad-hoc, with employees having limited access to industry specific courses and resources. FIB should develop more comprehensive training plans for employees that ensure that each employee is receiving the necessary education to continue to contribute meaningfully to the organization. This plan should include both technical and soft skills training, as well as various interactive activities to allow employees to better understand the organization’s goals and objectives. Additionally, FIB should extend access to external sources such as seminars, conferences, and webinars to help employees stay informed on the latest industry news and innovations.

The performance evaluation system needs to be revised in order to better assess performance and make sure employees are rewarded for any exceptional work. Currently, the performance evaluation process is a once-a-year review that does not provide meaningful feedback and lacks any real guidance on what areas employees can improve upon. FIB should implement more frequent, informal performance reviews with consistent periodic feedback in order to ensure that employees are on track with their goals. Additionally, a rewards system should be put in place that acknowledges and rewards superior performance on a more frequent basis (Griffin Bennett, & York, 2020). With consistent feedback and recognition, employees will have a better understanding of their roles and responsibilities, leading to more engaged and productive employees.

Formulate three valid reasons for the proposed change based on current change management theories.

Based on current change management theories, there are three valid reasons for the proposed changes at First Independence Bank (FIB). First, a more structured recruitment process will help FIB to find quality candidates that better fit its organizational goals. Currently, FIB relies heavily on referrals and networking, while neglecting other sources of potential employees, leaving out a large pool of potential hires. A structured recruitment process will ensure that the company is able to seek candidates from multiple sources and reach a larger, more diverse set of potential employees (Hayes, 2022).

Second, revamping the onboarding process will aid in introducing new hires to the company’s culture and mission, leading to greater job satisfaction and engagement. Currently, the onboarding process is weak and leaves new hires feeling overwhelmed and confused (Smith, Skinner, & Read, 2020). With a more comprehensive onboarding program, such as orientation and informative sessions, new hires will better understand the organization’s mission, policies, processes, and technologies and work towards that common goal. Furthermore, regular check-ins should be conducted to provide further guidance and resources when needed.

Third, updating the training programs will provide employees with the necessary knowledge and skills to stay competitive in the industry and make meaningful contributions to the organization. Currently, the training process is ad-hoc, with employees having limited access to industry specific courses and resources. By developing comprehensive training plans, employees will be given the opportunity to learn the latest trends and gain skills that will equip them to succeed in their roles and the ever-changing work environment (Smith, Skinner, & Read, 2020). Furthermore, by providing employees with access to external sources such as seminars, conferences, and webinars, they will stay up-to-date on the latest industry innovations and be able to apply that knowledge to their role.

Appraise the diagnostic tools that you can use to determine an organization’s readiness for change. Propose two diagnostic tools that you can utilize to determine if the organization is ready for change. Defend why you believe the diagnostic tools selected are the best choice for diagnosing change in the organization.

When it comes to determining an organization’s readiness for change, two diagnostic tools that can be used to assess First Independence Bank (FIB) are the Change Readiness Index and surveys. Both of these tools can provide valuable insight into the organization’s current state and offer a way to measure the success of any changes being implemented. The Change Readiness Index is a tool that measures an organization’s capability to successfully implement changes. This index looks at multiple criteria such as organizational structure, culture, communication channels, leadership and decision-making, processes and technology, and more, in order to gain a holistic view of the organization’s current state (Yoon, 2017). The index then uses this information to assess the organization’s readiness for change by providing a score and pinpointing the areas where improvements can be made in order to ensure successful change management.

Surveys are another effective tool for diagnosing organizational readiness for change. Surveys can capture insights from employees on the current condition of the organization, including their overall satisfaction with the current practices, what areas need improvement, and any ideas for how to get the organization ready for change (Yoon, 2017). While surveys cannot measure an organization’s actual readiness, they can provide valuable information on what employees think needs to happen in order to ensure successful change management.

Both the Change Readiness Index and surveys can provide invaluable information to help FIB determine if it is indeed ready for change. The Change Readiness Index provides a holistic view of the organization’s current capabilities and gives an objective assessment of its readiness for change, while surveys provide insights into the opinions of employees, who are often the ones most affected by any changes that take place (Yoon, 2017). With these tools, FIB can gain a clearer understanding of its current state, identify any areas that need improvement, and then make informed decisions on what changes to implement.

Using one of the diagnostic tools you selected, assess the organization’s readiness for change: Provide results of the diagnostic analysis. Explain the results.

The diagnostic tool that can be used to assess First Independence Bank (FIB)’s readiness for change is the Change Readiness Index. This tool looks at multiple criteria such as organizational structure, culture, communication channels, processes and technology, and more in order to gain a holistic view of the organization’s current state and determine its readiness for change.

The results of the analysis showed that FIB was moderately ready for change, with a total score of 75%. In terms of organizational structure, the index revealed that overall decision-making was centralized with too many layers, leading to slow decision-making and difficulty in adapting to changing conditions. The company’s culture was also found to be highly hierarchical, with limited employee involvement in decision-making. Furthermore, the current communication channels were found to be inadequate as there was limited access to critical data and information which led to disconnect between teams and departments. Lastly, while the processes and technologies were found to be up to date, they lacked flexibility which hindered their ability to accommodate changes quickly.

The results of the analysis show that while FIB has some capabilities to implement changes, it needs to improve in certain areas in order to ensure the success of any change management initiatives. Specifically, the organization should focus on improving its organizational structure to allow for greater decentralization, increasing employee involvement in decision-making, strengthening its communication channels, and making its processes and technologies more flexible. By taking these steps, FIB can enhance its capabilities in order to ensure the successful implementation of any changes.


First Independence Bank. (2022, January 11).
About us: First Independence Bank. First Independence Bank |. Retrieved January 13, 2023, from

Griffin, K., Bennett, J., & York, T. (2020). Leveraging promising practices: Improving the recruitment, hiring, and retention of diverse & inclusive faculty.

Hayes, J. (2022). 
The theory and practice of change management. Bloomsbury Publishing.

Smith, A. C., Skinner, J., & Read, D. (2020). 
Philosophies of organizational change: perspectives, models and theories for managing change. Edward Elgar Publishing.

Yoon, H. J. (2017). Diagnostic models following open systems. In 
Assessment and Diagnosis for Organization Development (pp. 53-78). Productivity Press.

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