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Change management drives the successful adoption and utilization of change in the business. It enables employees to understand, commit to, and work effectively during the change. Company transitions can be difficult and costly in terms of both time and resources if effective organizational change management is not implemented.
Lewin's Change Management Model is one of the most popular accepted and effective change management models. It helps businesses better understand organizational and structured change.
What is Lewin’s Change Management Model?
Kurt Lewin, a social scientist and physicist, proposed a simple framework for understanding organizational processes in the early 1950s. Lewin’s Change Management Model is a method of managing organizational change. It entails preparing employees for change, implementing changes, and then integrating and normalizing those changes throughout the organization.
Lewis used the analogy of an ice block changing shape to become a cone of ice during the process of unfreezing. Therefore, this model consists of three main stages: unfreeze, change, and refreeze.
The First Stage: Unfreeze
It entails increasing people's readiness and willingness to change by fostering a realization for moving from their current comfort zone to a transformed situation. Effective communication is critical in gaining the desired support and participation of employees in the change process.
Here are some tips you can use in the Unfreeze stage:
1. Survey your business to understand its current state and determine what needs to change
2. Understand why change is required
3. Frame the problem as one that affects the business
4. Make a compelling message for why change is necessary
5. Remind open towards employee concerns and address them in terms of the need for change
The Second Stage: Change
It entails the acceptance of new ways of doing things. This is the stage at which the people are unfrozen, and the actual change is put in place. During this stage, careful planning, effective communication, and encouraging employees to participate in endorsing the changes are required.
Here are some tips you can use in the Change stage:
1. Communicate clearly and frequently during the planning and implementation of the changes
2. Ensure that you are aware of and dispel any rumors
3. Empower your employees by involving them in the process if possible
4. Have line managers provide day-to-day direction
5. Create short-term wins to reinforce the change
The Third Stage: Refreeze
It entails the normalization of the changes in the organization's day-to-day activities. This process can be very slow as it can take a long time for employees to adjust to new practices. However, this stage is critical for making the changes last and ensuring that employees can deal with changes effectively.
Here are some tips you can use in the Refreeze stage:
1. Determine what supports the change
2. Determine the obstacles to long-term change
3. Ensure that leadership is on board
4. Create feedback systems
5. Modify the organizational structure if needed
Lewin's Change Management Model is a simple framework for managing change. You can plan to implement the necessary change if you recognize the three stages. You begin by creating the motivation to change (unfreeze), then you promote effective communication and empower people to embrace new ways of working (change), and finally you return the business to a state of stability (refreeze).
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Juneja, P. (n.d.). Kurt Lewin’s Change Management Model: The Planned Approach to Organizational Change. Management Study Guide. https://www.managementstudyguide.com/kurt-lewins-change-management-model.htm
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