During the coronavirus pandemic, our local community had to adapt to change as many local businesses were affected due to shut down, and so were the schools within the area. We, as a community, came up with a solution and ways to resolve some of the problems we were facing. Using Kotter’s 8-step Change Management model, we were able to fix some issues and improve our area. However, some areas were not completely covered, and I believe we could have done better.
Members of the society needed to come up with a solution for the shortage of fresh produce within the community and engage kids. Due to school closure, many students around the area were seen idling around. Therefore, community leaders and members devised ways to help and resolve the problem. There was also a shortage of green and fresh products for consumers.
Form a Powerful Coalition
Critical people like teachers, school heads, truck drivers, and local leaders were identified. This was done so that they could help resolve the issues and invoke change (Tang, 2019). They helped by using their leadership skills and powers to create solutions for some of the issues faced by the community.
Create a Vision for Change
The vision for the change within the region was to create a healthy lifestyle and continue learning and involve everyone in the community without anyone feeling left out. Community leaders created a detailed description of what they were aiming to achieve in the future. This was done using goals and aspirations that needed to be achieved in the long run.
Communicate the Vision
The local leaders held a meeting to discuss the vision and what could be achieved by implementing it in the community. Pamphlets were also printed and spread so whoever could not attend the meeting would be able to find one and read. Oral communication like talking about the vision with neighbours, proved to be an effective way to spread the vision (Bucciarelli, 2015). This meant everyone got the information regardless of whether they attended the meeting.
Creating a vision comes with challenges and barriers during the working process. The vision could only be achieved by removing any obstacles that might slow it down or completely stop progress (Galli, 2018). Due to the cessation of movement out of the area, it was difficult for green products to go in and out. There was also a lack of enough reading materials to keep the children busy. To remove the obstacles, school heads and principals were asked to contact their facilities and provide books and laptops to enhance learning. They were also asked to create a program where the students could learn and complete their studies remotely. Local parliamentary leaders cleared the transportation obstacle by providing passes and clearance forms for truck drivers transporting the goods.
Create Short-Term Wins
To achieve a set vision, one needs to create phases where one can generate short-term wins. Short-term wins are a great way to motivate people involved in the change and show that whatever they are working on is achievable and can be completed (Tang, 2019). Short-term wins in our project involved completing one week of study for students in the area before finally completing a semester. As for the green project, providing green vegetables and fruits during the first week of the initiative was considered a small win. Creating a vegetable market within the area was also among the small wins.
Build on the Change
Even after the vegetable market was achieved and the restrictions on lockdown were removed, it was necessary to continue with the project. This ensured that whatever healthy lifestyle was achieved would not be interfered with, and the community could continue receiving fresh goods even after the completion of the project. Children were also encouraged to continue learning remotely allowing them to continue studying.
Anchor the Change
Anchoring the change means discussing the superiority of the change and explaining how the change impacted the lives of everyone involved. Everyone realized how remote learning encouraged students and allowed them to continue with their studies. It was also clear that providing fresh goods was the best way to promote healthy eating.
In conclusion, the vision was a great success and achieved many objectives. However, some issues were not highlighted, and I believe the community could have done better. Community members failed to consider children from poor backgrounds who could not be able to learn remotely due to a lack of laptops and internet connections. Failing to regulate the number of people selling in the vegetable market, causing a flood of suppliers, should have been addressed.
Bucciarelli, L. (2015). A review of innovation and change management: stage model and power influences. Universal Journal of Management, 3(1), 36-42.
Galli, B. J. (2018). Change management models: A comparative analysis and concerns. IEEE Engineering Management Review, 46(3), 124-132.
Tang, K. N. (2019). Leadership and change management (pp. 47-55). , Singapore, Springer.