STEP 2: Creating the Guiding Coalition

Putting together a group with enough power to lead the change

No one person, no matter how competent, is capable of single-handedly: 

  • developing the right vision, 
  • communicating it to vast numbers of people, 
  • eliminating all of the key obstacles, 
  • generating short term wins, 
  • leading and managing dozens of change projects, and 
  • anchoring new approaches deep in an organization’s culture. 

Putting together the right coalition of people to lead a change initiative is critical to its success. That coalition must have the right composition, a significant level of trust, and a shared objective. 

The Importance of Teams to Decision Making

In a rapidly changing world, complex organizations are forced to make decisions more quickly and with less certainty than they would like and with greater sacrifice than they would prefer. It is clear that teams of leaders and managers, acting in concert, are the only effective entities that can make productive decisions under these circumstances.  

It is essential that the team develop a level of trust in one another. This is the glue that makes the team function well. In today’s world, team building has to happen quickly. Typically, this occurs in an off-site with carefully facilitated activities that allows for team members to make connections between both hearts and minds.  

Constructing the right team and then combining a level of trust with a shared goal in which the team believes can result in a guiding coalition that has the capacity to make needed change happen despite all of the forces of inertia.

The Four Qualities of an Effective Guiding Coalition

In putting together a Guiding Coalition, the team as a whole should reflect:

  • Position Power:  Enough key players should be on board so that those left out cannot block progress.
  • Expertise:  All relevant points of view should be represented so that informed intelligent decisions can be made.
  • Credibility:  The group should be seen and respected by those in the firm so that the group’s pronouncements will be taken seriously by other employees.
  • Leadership:  The group should have enough proven leaders to be able to drive the change process. 


Go to Step 3. Developing a Change Vision >>

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