Physician Leaders – Worried About Leading? The Path Was Never So Clear

Doctor, are you eager to make changes in your department or clinic but worry about where to begin? Look no further! A legendary 8-step process for effectively leading change, first described by John Kotter in 1995 and now available in his new book Leading Change (Harvard Business Review Press, 2012), is a great guide for physicians willing to lead new initiatives or add leadership to their list of competencies. And for those who love algorithms? Wow! Not only will this book inspire you, it will give you tools to lead and inspire others.

Coupling his hefty experience with consulting on change and a no-nonsense approach, Kotter first identifies common fatal errors that occur during change efforts that “don’t deliver hoped-for results.” These include failing to:

1. Communicate necessary urgency

2. Create a powerful guiding coalition

3.  Create a sensible vision

4.  Communicate the vision

5.  Remove obstacles that interfere with the vision

6.  Get short-term wins

7.  Approach victory with patient focus

8.  Anchor changes in the corporate culture.

It comes as no surprise then, that Kotter urges you to establish a sense of urgency, create a guiding coalition, develop a sensible vision and strategy, communicate the vision, empower broad-based action among employees and managers, get short-term wins, promote more change, and imbed the new approaches in your organization.

Here’s my mnemonic for these eight principles for successful leading. It reads like a heading: Urgent coalition strategies spreading the news, empowering employees and managers, quick kills, further change, and imbedding its troops.

To see what’s inside Kotter’s Leading Change, go to:

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