Change Theory and how to implement?In any organisational development, change is constant. But when it comes to transformational changes the employees may not prefer it all the time. Change management models are thus designed in such a way that one can navigate through the transitional phases and also guide their team members to get adapted to those new changes.
When it comes to change models, the most popular one was found by Kurt Lewin (who was a change leader). This particular change model can balance both the driving and the restraining forces to manage any sort of organisational changes such as business process improvements, digital transformation and software implementation.
What is the Change Theory?
Lewin’s change theory states that the restraining forces can influence the behaviour of both the individual and a group of people and this can decide on the fate of change. The driving force can help the employees to get the change and adapt to the new state. On the other hand, there are restraining forces which act as the prime barriers to take any sort of change initiatives. According to Lewin, it is necessary to balance both these forces with the help of change communication and employee involvement and this can be done with the help of proper employee trainings. Change agents should also implement stress management techniques and use some convincing change reasonings.
3 stages of change in Lewin’s Model
Lewin has suggested a straightforward 3 step change model so that it can be useful for the employees’ ability to adapt to the changes. Here are those 3 stages that one needs to follow:
Stage 1 – Unfreeze
This is the first stage of the change model and it mostly deals with the perception management. It aims to prepare all the stakeholders for the change that is going to arrive. The change management leaders should always look into ways, so that they can improve the company’s prepared for the change. At the same time it also creates a sense of urgency.
During this stage the effective changes play a vital role and the support of the team members chip in slowly. Here are some activities that should happen in this stage:
- Survey the organisation and conduct a need analysis to understand the current loopholes.
- Create a strategic vision and form a change strategy.
- Make employees believe that the change is needed.
- Address them with transparency.
Stage 2 – Change
As the status quo is already disrupted, this particular stage deals with the implementation of change. This is an agile approach which incorporates employee feedback to smoothen the transition. These are the actions that should be taken care of:
- One should organise change management workshops and sessions for change management exercises.
- Ensure a continuous flow of information to obtain the support from the team members.
- Generate some easy wins as visible results which can motivate the team.
Stage 3 – Refreeze
Employees move away from the transition phase towards stabilisation or acceptance in the final refreezing stage. But if change leaders fail to strengthen the change by reinforcing it into the organisational culture. Here are some following activities that will support the change:
- Collect the employee feedback on a daily basis.
- Identify the reward early adopters and change champions.
- Explore digital adoption platform who are professionals. They can be the partner in change with intuitive features like interactive walkthroughs, multi format self help content and customisable pop ups.
There are quite a few ways in which the Lewin’s 3 stage change model can be applied to any organisational change.
- Each and every change needs a behaviour modification and one must keep the employees updated with the skills. Building on an existing skill set allows the employees to take some more responsibilities. Hence, it is very crucial to offer continuous employee training until the change happens.
- Successful change initiatives require a balanced approach to change the business process, system and structure. One must anchor the changes in the organisational culture to get the long term benefits.
Lewin’s change model is very simple and easy to understand. It is a framework which can humanise the change management process and 3 stages are the well thought combination of change models.