Change behaviour is fundamental to contemporary organisational change management. Kurt Lewin’s Change model was a forerunner in the field of change management.
Today’s business environment is so complicated and dynamic that contemporary service management thought critiques the model for being too abstract and unsophisticated to create a significant shift in today’s firms.
What Is The Lewin’s Change Model?
Change management pioneer Kurt Lewin was born in Germany and raised in the United States in the early 1900s. One of the earliest researchers in organizational development and group dynamics, Lewin devised a three-stage model to analyze two areas: organizational development and group dynamics.
He argued that the behaviour of an individual in reaction to changes is influenced by the behaviour of the group. The individual’s behaviour and ability to change are jeopardized by the group structure’s interactions and pressures. As a result, every effort to bring about organizational change must consider the group dynamic.
The Change Process in Three Stages:
Using Lewin’s model, we’ll examine the three phases and how they define the nature of change, how to execute it, and the usual problems that accompany it.
“Quasi-stationary equilibrium state” is how Lewin describes human behaviour in relation to change in the first stage. It’s possible to conceive of this as a mentality, a level of physical and mental capability that’s nearly there, but it’s not quite there.
The group forces, according to Lewin, restrict individuals from embracing change since it is met with opposition. There are times when this equilibrium state must be disturbed in order for a more open-minded behaviour pattern to emerge. He speculates that an emotional outburst might destabilize group dynamics and instil a sense of self-righteousness in some of the participants. It’s possible to shake things up in a number of ways, and you’ll need to decide whether an individual, group or company-wide change is essential.
Things to do in the initial stage of “unfreezing” include:
- Identifying the areas that need improvement. This may be accomplished by conducting an internal poll to determine whether or not changes are required.
- Assuring C-level and management assistance. With the cooperation of stakeholders and by framing your problem in a favourable light, you may get the support you need to go forward.
Encouraging others to make a change. Marketing a compelling message about the benefits of change and communicating the change’s long-term goal may help build this demand.
2) Make changes
It’s time to apply the adjustments after the status quo has been “unfrozen.” You may not get the effects you want from a well-planned change in your organization. The preparation of multiple change choices, from planned procedures to trial and error ones, is thus crucial. It’s essential to look at what worked, what didn’t, and which aspects of the process were resistant to change with each new change effort.
The achievement of an effective and successful organizational transformation process depends on two factors. The following are examples:
It’s essential to have a smooth flow of information across the organization so that different levels of experience and abilities may pool their resources to solve problems in a coordinated manner.
You might think of leadership as the ability of a group of individuals to work together toward a shared objective. Organizational transformations that go according to the plan need a clear sense of direction and inspiration from the top.
When it comes to maintaining changes, an iterative strategy is a must. According to Lewin, when a change is not reinforced, it is likely to fail to achieve the organization’s goals.
During this phase, firms should focus on the following:
- Make sure everyone in the company is aware of the proposed changes, their advantages, and the people who will be impacted by them. Do your best to answer all of their inquiries and clear up any misconceptions they may have.
- Engage in activities that inspire change and empower others. Ensure that your staff are actively engaged in the transition and provide daily and weekly guidance to the managers in charge of the project to help them succeed.
Participate as widely as possible with everyone. Working with a bigger group of people may help you build stronger relationships with your stakeholders and rapidly transform small, simple successes into larger ones.
3) Re-freeze the contents
The last stage is to ensure that the improvements you have made stick. Everyone’s objective is to accept this as the new normal so that they don’t oppose the forces of change anymore. The old ones tend to resurface without taking the necessary actions to maintain and enforce the further improvements. In order to adopt and “freeze” new changes, organizations need to consider both official and informal processes. Over time, overcoming opposition to change is more accessible if proactive measures are taken.
Businesses must do the following during the refreeze phase:
- Identify the company’s support and resistance to new initiatives.
- In order to keep the improvements going for the long haul, implement and promote strategies like these:
- Securing the support of stakeholders and workers for leadership and management.
- Creating ways for individuals to share their thoughts and ideas.
Promote both informal and formal means of maintaining the improvements by providing both short-term and long-term training and assistance.
These were some meaningful insights on lewins model of change management.