Stage 2 of the 8-Stage Process of Transformation
Build a Guiding Coalition
Part of our Series on Leading & Adopting Change
If you’re a leader desiring to modernize your agency or transform your organization in some other way, you already feel a strong sense of urgency.
Perhaps the first stage of a transformation effort – establish a sense of urgency – is not only something you understand but are actively doing. Whether you have just started this process or are far along, it’s important to consider what will happen when this urgency has spread through your organization.
Generally, there are three methods for guiding a transformation effort:
- A single, highly influential leader initiates the effort and through charisma and willpower tries to see it through to completion
- A visionary leader (perhaps with the blessing of a C-level executive) initiates a transformation effort, and joins or delegates a small committee to try to see the effort through to completion
- A guiding coalition with the right composition of members is empowered to complete the transformation effort
As soon as an organization begins to build a sense of urgency, it’s important as a leader to know how that new energy is going to be wielded. According to John Kotter in his book Leading Change, the most effective wielder of this energy, the one most likely to succeed in a transformation effort, is a guiding coalition. To understand why, let’s compare these three methods.