Respond to two (2) Colleagues W5D1  “see attachment for detail instructions”: 
* 3 – 4 paragraphs per colleagues 
* No plagiarism
* APA citing  
** 48 hours **
Discussion: Empowering Change
In order for change to be effective, the organization, managers, and leaders need to provide resources and training necessary to be successful. In addition, it is important that all stakeholders feel they have a voice in the decision-making process. As discussed in this week’s resources, these strategies empower stakeholders to take action. You empower action when you provide both the tools and the structure necessary to enable change.
Reflect on what you know about utilizing rewards to facilitate change, motivate stakeholders, and address barriers to change.
To prepare for this Discussion:
· Review this week’s Learning Resources, especially:
Kotter, J. P. (2012). Leading change. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Review Press.
· Chapter 7, “Empowering Employees for Broad-Based Action”
· Exhibit 3, “Empowering People to Effect Change” found on p. 119 of the Leading Change course text.
Laureate Education (Producer). (2012f). Step 5: Empowering for broad-based action. Baltimore, MD: Author. Retrieved from
Read a selection of your peers’ postings.
Respond to
at least two of your peers’ postings
in one or more of the following ways:
· Consider specific training resources you might recommend to your peers to help them empower others to change.
· Provide additional ideas and resources your peers can use to help “disempowered” stakeholders and mitigate barriers.
· What have you learned within your own experience that might help your peers when working to empower others? Are there any negative experiences that your peers can learn from and avoid?
· 3 – 4 paragraphs
· No plagiarism
· APA citing
1st Colleagues – Natasha Mills  
Natasha Mills 
Week 5 Empowering Change
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After achieving the first four stages of the eight-stage change process, many change leaders tend to ease up with the thought that they have accomplished the most challenging aspects of the vision. However, this is usually not the case. The step of empowerment carries a lot of weight and paying less attention to it is the primary reason behind the failure of most promising change visions. This is because the step of empowering action majorly involves the removal of the barriers in the path of successfully effecting the change (Kotter & Cohen, 2002). Therefore, it is logical to assume that empowering action is the most fundamental step compared to the first four steps of the eight-stage process.
Whereas it is critical to empower all those with a stake in the enterprise to overcome barriers, evidence shows that employees are the essential stakeholders to empower when effecting change. This is because any change vision, regardless of the stakeholders it impacts, always begins with the employees in an organizational context. Empowering employee action requires the change leader to give them the confidence and tools they need to implement the change vision. This process involves equipping the employees with the skills needed to effect the change, eliminating formal structures, changing information systems and personnel (Laureate Education Producer, 2012f). These strategies overcome the barriers to effecting a change vision, allowing the change leader to engage disempowered stakeholders, particularly employees.
One major change that I participated in involved the transition from paper records to electronic records in an organization I once worked for. Whereas the transition appeared simple at first, the challenges that we experienced when we started implementing it were immense to the extent that many of us, including managers, began suggesting that the organization reverts to the old system. However, one senior manager realized that the problem was not with the new system. Rather, the challenge resulted from employees’ inadequate knowledge and skills to operate under the new system. In simple terms, the senior management realized that the barrier to the success of the change was the employees’ lack of the needed skills, which undermined their ability to take action because the employees understood the vision and were determined to make it a reality but were unable to. This aspect is identified as one of the principal barriers to empowerment (Kotter, 2012). After this realization, the senior manager shared the discovery with other stakeholders, leading to training employees and equipping them with the skills to use the new system. The result was a successful transition.
Based on my experience, change visions often come from the top, with the change leaders making it easy for the employees to see the need for the change as soon as it is introduced. Consequently, the change leaders are always quick to equip the employees with the necessary tools and skills, mainly through training programs focusing on the change vision. However, effecting the change often proves challenging when employees begin to take action due to the barrier of formal structures. These formal structures within an organization make it difficult for employees to come up with and explore ideas regarding the change and communicate and learn from each other during the change process (Laureate Education Producer, 2012f).
With time, the employees end up disempowered and unable to take action in effecting the change. Thus, as a change leader, it is essential to eliminate this barrier by eliminating the formal structures that influence the change vision. As a manager or leader affecting change, I would encourage teams to rely on strategies that they find to work best for them in implementing the needed change to remove the formal structures barrier that makes them only focused on doing what they are asked. This approach will empower them because it will give employees the ability to try new things, which is part of the definition of a change vision (Laureate Education Producer, 2012f).
When important much-needed change is unwelcomed by stakeholders, it poses as a barrier to effecting the change. Therefore, the steps I would emphasize to empower the reluctant stakeholders would include getting allies of the change vision and using their success to drum up the necessity of the change and get the reluctant stakeholders excited and empowered to take action (Laureate Education Producer, 2012f). Another step would be to investigate the reasons behind their reluctance and address them singularly, such as demystifying any concerns about the impact of the change on them.   
Kotter, J. P. (2012). Leading change. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Review Press.
Kotter, J. P., & Cohen, D. S. (2002). The heart of change: Real-life stories of how people changes their organizations. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Review Press.
Laureate Education (Producer). (2012f). Step 5: Empowering for broad-based action. Baltimore, MD: Author. Retrieved from
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2nd Colleagues – Kristen Springer  
Discussion – Week 5
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           In my personal life, I empower my two adult children.  “You take a wind in their faces and create a wind at their backs” (Kotter & Cohen, 2002, p. 101). I have always given my children the tools and confidence needed to succeed (Laureate Education (Producer). (2012f)).  Not only have I assisted to remove barriers for them, but I have also taught them to try not to do everything at once; I taught them patience (Kotter & Cohen, 2002).
            For example, this past summer my daughter was scheduled to go back for the 3rd summer to an internship that she hated.  My son had received an internship job that he was leery about which was actually a much better fit for my daughter.  By instilling confidence in them both, they were able to solve the problem together.  My son found an internship that fit his needs much better and he was able to transfer his unwanted internship successfully to his sister.  This positive change resulted in a summer full of enthusiasm and growth.  “I think the idea of helping more people to become more powerful is important” (Kotter, 2012, p. 105).  My son originally felt helpless as he looked for another internship, but I reminded him of his high school teachers and volunteer connections.  Once the barrier of nerves was removed, he was able to land his perfect job.  He had the skills, but didn’t know how to apply them; he needed confidence and support.  I also knew my daughter had been miserable in her previous position.  She didn’t want to disappoint anyone so turning down the original internship was overwhelming to her.  I used the skills I learned in the last class which taught us how to deliver bad news and taught them to her.  Empowering her with these tactics made a world of difference.  I know without my leadership skills, the summer would have been much different.
            The idea that “empower” is truly to remove barriers resonates with me (Kotter & Cohen, 2002).  Barriers can be another person, a lack of skill, “the system” itself, a process, or simply a feeling of inadequacy (Kotter & Cohen, 2002).  The steps to mitigate challenges are to first understand them by listening and observing.  “People act cowardly, or at least seem to for many reasons. Perhaps most of all, they hold back because the obstacles blocking action can seem gargantuan” (Kotter & Cohen, 2002, p.119).  Then once the barriers are identified, it is important to focus and not try to solve everything at once.  By starting slow, being gentle, and teaching life or work skills one by one the obstacles can be removed.   I know being a leader or parent does not mean doing everything for your child or employee, it’s about teaching them the skills need to live and be successful. “Leaders accept and act on this paradox of power: you become more powerful when you give your power away” (Kouzes & Posner, 201, p. 221).
Kotter, J. P. (2012). Leading change. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Review Press.
Kotter, J. P., & Cohen, D. S. (2002). The heart of change: Real-life stories of how people change their organizations. Boston, MA: Harvard             Business Review Press.
 Kouzes, J. M., & Posner, B. Z. (2017). The leadership challenge: How to make extraordinary things happen in organizations. Hoboken, NJ:          Wiley & Sons.
 Laureate Education (Producer). (2012f). Step 5: Empowering for broad-based action. Baltimore, MD: Author. Retrieved from  
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