Defining Lewin’s Change Management Model

Autumn leaf changing color from green to red

Introduction

Regardless of how large your industry is or how long it has been in the business it is bound to go through changes like every other company does. In this fast changing modern world organizations must learn to adapt to these changes quickly and make the appropriate changes required in it to survive in the face of modern times.

The organizations which can deal with the changes efficiently happen to rise to the pinnacle of success where as the ones which fail to adapt perish with time. In most of the modern day business change management is a very well known concept and is often put to use to handle all the different changes that your enterprise is going through. But the method used for managing these changes and the chances of their success depends entirely upon the character of the industry or organization.

The people working in the organization or anyone who is directly or indirectly involved in the project should be well aware of change in process and have a sound understanding of it. One of the most successful methods of change management was devised by a physicist named Kurt Lewin in 1950’s.

The Lewin’s change management is sometimes also known as the unfreeze as also change and refreeze model the social scientist with the help of his three stage model helped organizations understand the change management process drawing references from the similarity of changing the shape of a chunk of ice.

What is Lewin’s Change Management Model?

Lewin’s method of change management can be best explained with a block of ice. Suppose you don’t want a block of ice but you require a cone made out of it. For this the block of ice needs to be transformed into a cone which you can then put to use. How do you do it? First you allow the cube of ice to melt to make it agreeable to change. This is the unfreezing part. Next you need to mould the ice according to your needs which in this case is a cone (Change). In the final step which is the refreezing part you need to solidify current shape. Every change should be viewed as a procedure with separate stages. This helps you to practice yourself for that is about to plan and enable you to take action accordingly in order to manage the transition. Heading toward a change blindfolded can cause unnecessary chaos and turmoil within the project. Before dealing with a change you must first understand the need of the change. This marks the beginning of the unfreezing stage.

Steps for Using the Lewin’s Change Management Framework

Unfreeze:

  1. Determining what is needed to be changed.
    1. For understanding the current state the organization should be thoroughly surveyed.
    2. You need to appreciate the need for change.
  2. Ensuring strong hold up from upper level of management.
    1. Stakeholder analysis along with stakeholder management can be put to use in order to be familiar with and wins the support from main people of organization.
  3. Creating the requirement for change.
    1. This involves creating a forceful message stating the need for the change to occur.
    2. Your dream and strategies should be used as underneath evidence.
    3. The vision should be communicated for the changes required.
  4. Understanding and management of the doubts as also concerns.
    1. At all points of time you should remains open for the concerns of your employee and address them in terms of the changes needed.

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Change:

  1. You should often communicate with the other members of your projects and your key stakeholders.
    1. Proper communication should be maintained all through the preparation and execution of the changes.
    2. You should be clear about the benefits your key stakeholders would be gaining from the project.
    3. People should be made aware of how everyone is affected by these changes in the project.
    4. Everyone should take adequate precaution for what might come.
  2. No heed should be paid to rumors which might spread.
    1. Questions should be answered openly along with honestly.
    2. Any problem that may arise should be dealt with immediately. The need for these changes should be related back to ready supplies.
  3. Action should be empowered.
    1. Ample amount of opportunities should be provided to the employee so that they can actively participate in the project.
    2. Line managers should be presenting day to day direction.
  4. Involving people in your project.
    1. Short term victories should be generated for the change to be reinforced.
    2. Negotiations with outside stakeholders like employee organizations should be done where necessary.

Refreeze:

  1. The changes should be anchored into culture.
    1. The best support for the change should be identified.
    2. At the same time you should also take notice of what barriers the sustainable change.
  2. Developing ways to sustain the change.
    1. At all points of time you should make sure that you have full support from the members of the leadership board.
    2. A return system should be created.
    3. Efficient feedback systems should be established so that you get to know how the people are taking the change.
    4. Organizational structures should be adapted according to requirement.
  3. Proper hold up and training should be provided.
    1. Everyone involved directly and indirectly should be well informed regarding every single change you make and you should value their point of views and provide support to them when necessary.
  4. Now it is time for you to enjoy your hard earned success.

Conclusion

The Lewin's change model offers you a simple and easily understandable framework for change management. By identifying the three separate stage of change you can implement the required change. Firstly the people should be motivated adequately towards implementation of the change. This is the unfreeze stage. After this you need to interact properly with your stakeholders and other key members conveying all the information you have to them. You also need to bestow the power in people so that they can accept the new ways for working which marks the change stage. Lastly you need to stabilize the organization just like it was before the change was implemented. This gains the confidence of the stakeholders for further changes in future.

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