The Kotter Change Management Model

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The Kotter Change Management Model includes a tool for managers to employ in order to transform organizations (Kotter, 2012). The model is thought to be necessary for dealing with transformational change. Individuals' behavior is emphasized in the model. Speaking with people to understand their feelings enables transformational change (Kotter & Cohen, 2012). Kotter proposed the 8-step change model for successful change management, which can be said to overlap after analyzing them. The first three steps focus on creating a climate for change within the organization. The following three steps are concerned with engaging as well as enabling the company while the last two are related to the implementation and sustaining the change. This assignment aims at using a selected company to apply the Kotter's 8-step model of change management to a human resource situation that needs change in the organization. The assignment will entail addressing the eight steps and coming up with an action plan for every step in relation to the selected HR situation for change.

The Selected Company

The chosen company for this analysis is the Coca-Cola Company. It is a non-alcoholic beverage company and one of the most recognized brands in the world. Coca-Cola manufactures and sells many brands of beverages and owns many branches almost in every country in the world. Its top four brands are Coca-Cola, Fanta, Sprite, and Diet Coke (The Coca-Cola Company, 2017). The Coca-Cola Company also markets over five hundred beverage brands, water, juice drinks, sports and energy drinks among others. Being the largest beverage distributor in the world, Coca-Cola reaches consumers in about two hundred countries. The company's mission entails refreshing the world, inspiring moments of happiness as well as optimism and creating value and making a difference. The vision of the Coca-Cola Company revolves around people, portfolio, partners, planet, profit, and productivity.

The Chosen HR Situation

Managing human resources is an important aspect of success for any organization. It means that appropriately developing this department is necessary to form a strong ground with which the company places its future progress. Coca-Cola is not an exception and the HR department in this company is experiencing the issue of underdevelopment. Being a global company, Coca-Cola needs proper procedures for managing its human resources for all divisions globally. Currently, the company is using the old style of human resource management that is slow in embracing telecommunication and work-life balance. As a result, employees are experiencing limited advancement and frequent relocation (Vault, 2017). It means that a part from embracing team work, coca-cola also needs to work on its innovative ideas for the human resources.

Application of the 8-Steps Kotter Change Management Model to the HR Situation

The change management model of Kotter requires following the 8 steps so as to achieve a successful change. From these steps, it is evident that change takes place when there is a sense of urgency, commitment, engagement of stakeholders, clear vision, openness, strong leadership, a good and clear communication plan as well as a plan that is well implemented. Success in change management must recognize these characteristics.

Establish a Sense of Urgency

Urgency is a tool that sustains change. Establishing a sense of urgency to the communication problem in the Coca-Cola Company is important since its affecting operations. Failure of addressing this problem may lead to poor communication continuing in the organization and this affects employee performance and the overall performance of the organization. In establishing a sense of urgency, the human resource manager in Coca-Cola needs to examine the current situation of poor communication among employees and departments. Therefore, there is the need for the HR manager to communicate this issue throughout the organization. Making every person understand the need for achieving this change will make it easy to accept and implement. The HR needs to get workers talking about the issue and need for improved communication in the company. Using the customer and stakeholder testimonies, the HR will convince everyone in accepting the change.

Creating a Coalition

The manager should also develop a team that will assist in improving communication among employees and between departments. The team will assist the HR in executing the new change in the Coca-Cola Company. The HR manager needs to assemble a group with sufficient power of leading the change effort. Without this team, it will mean that the implementation of change may be unsuccessful. At Coca-Cola Company, the HR manager needs to work with other department managers and supervisors in leading the change effort. The strategies to form a powerful coalition are by looking for trusted and committed people to advancing the change. Persuade the people that proper communication is necessary and select the people within the company with the right skills, credibility and leadership ability to lead the change. With these skills and commitment, the guiding team will set a direction that is clear for the other staffs in embracing the change.

Developing Vision and Strategy

Developing a vision that will help direct the change effort a Coca-Cola and the strategies to achieve that vision is critical too. Without the vision, it will be difficult for the HR to help achieve the change needed in Coca-Cola. The vision will make achieving this future change more probable. The HR needs to create a vision that is eye-catching to place the communication situation in a way that all staffs will see the problem, the needed solutions and that the change needs immediate implementation. The vision will move everyone towards taking the recommended action of embracing the change.

Empowering broad-based action

It entails removing any obstacle that may hinder achievement of the change. It also requires changing the systems that undermine the vision and encourage risk-taking as well as non-traditional ideas, activities as well as actions. At Coca-Cola Company, empowering the HR manager is the first thing towards achieving successful communication among employees and between departments. The top management at Coca-Cola should accept the proposed change by the HR manager, otherwise, the needed change will only remain a talk without support from the executives. Empowering the HR manager and the guiding team will require sending them on a short training course on how to execute the change. It will help them guide the rest of the staffs in showing them why effective communication is needed among employees and between departments. There is the need for building optimism as well as self-confidence for the workforce and the improved results expected after implementing the change.

Communicating the vision

Communicating the vision to every concerned party in the organization is necessary. It will help all departmental managers and employees the direction that the Coca-Cola Company is taking to change the current situation. They will buy into the idea of change and begin accepting the efforts of the leading team. The HR manager requires employing various channels to communicate the new vision as well as strategies for achieving that vision. The guiding coalition will play an important role here to teach the new behaviors as well as lead the others in the company by example. It will create the right emotional response from the people. Give the concerned parties the relevant information about the vision and change needed in the company. The HR and the team members should try to reach as many people as possible and allow them to ask questions when necessary. Having open and honest dialogue is also a necessary part of communicating the vision. Their behavior should also portray the change they are advocating for in the company.

Generating short-term wins

Here, it requires making a plan of visible performance improvement, recognition as well as rewarding of employees who are involved in embracing the change for improvement. At Coca-Cola, the HR manager needs to recognize and rewards the department managers and employees who are taking the proposed direction of effective communication. Failure to create the short-term wins, staffs will wonder if they are leading the right direction. Recognizing their achievement is a way of reinforcing the change, offer credibility, momentum and resources towards achieving effective communication. The HR can do so by providing feedback, encouraging staffs, attract those who may not have been actively engaged and removing power from cynics.

Consolidating gains and producing more change

Early changes need to be built on so as to consolidate gains and produce more change. If not done, the workers will think that they have achieved the change and the sense of urgency may be lost and stop working towards achieving excellence. To sustain the change, there the need for the HR manager at Coca-Cola to use more credibility in changing communication, structures, policies and systems that are not fitting with the new vision. Here, the HR at Coca-Cola will need to hire, promote and develop employees with the capability of implementing the vision. Also, it will be necessary to reinvigorate the change process with the new project, theme and change agents.

Anchoring new approaches into the culture

If the change is to stick, it needs to be embedded to the organizational culture. The HR at Coca-Cola Company need to work towards developing behavior that is positive among staffs. It is also important to share values by having a sequence of successful changes. The success of achieving the efficiency in communication between departments and among employees needs to be connected to the success of the company. Achievement of tangible results through improved communication is the ultimate and continuous change that should be seen at the end.



The Coca-Cola Company. (2017). Mission, Vision & Values. Our Company. Retrieved from

Kotter, J. (2012). Leading Change. 1st edition. Harvard Business Review Press.

Kotter, J. & Cohen, D. (2012). The Heart of Change: Real-Life Stories of How People Change Their Organizations. 1st edition. Harvard Business Review Press.

Vault. (2017). The Coca-Cola Company. Vault Rankings. Retrieved from

May 17, 2023

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