The final step in Kotter's process for Leading Change* is the institutionalisation of new approaches into the organisation.
An organisation's behavioural norms and shared values influence behaviour through rewarding those in line with the culture and sanctioning those who step out of line. New practices made as part of the change effort will be more difficult to embed if they are not compatible with the existing culture and values.
Change in culture
A change in culture comes after individuals have experienced the change, usually for long periods of time and when the experience is approaching the norm. Individual's actions and behaviours are the key to bringing about changes in culture, and this comes at the end of the change process, not at the beginning.
Kotter states that culture is powerful because of three primary reasons:
- Individuals are selected and indoctrinated so well.
- Culture exerts itself through the actions of hundreds or thousands of people.
- All of this happens without much conscious intent and thus is difficult to challenge or discuss.