Month: October 2015

Change Management Models

Change Management Models


The objective is to elaborate on main points of change models within an organization. Therefore, this report presents two well-known change management theories of Dr. John Kotter’s eight-step theory and Kurt Lewin’s three-step theory of how it can be applied to any industry.

Change Management Models

Change management is a very wide-ranging discipline. In today’s business world, it is inevitable for a company to change in order to keep up with the times. However, the concept of change will vary from company to company. The results of transformation within the structure of an organization can be beneficial if it is understood by management and communicated in the correct manner to the team members in the firm. Therefore, how does a manager influence the models of change in the organization, what are these change management models, and how do they influence success. Two management models to discuss are Kotter’s eight-step model for leading, and Lewin’s change management model.
Kotter’s Eight-Step Model

We begin with Dr. John Kotter’s eight-step theory. According to Dr. Kotter, 70% of change efforts in an organization fail (Kotter International). The reason for the failure is that the leaders do not explain the approach to change in the enterprise and follow through with it. Therefore, the eight-step theory gives a clear and concise map on the on the functions of organizational change if utilized correctly.
The first step is establishing urgency. By explaining and showing the need for the change in addition to distinguishing possible risks of not proceeding with the transformation of how the business as it is functioning now? Investigate potential opportunities such as possibly increasing sales, by hiring more staff.
Second is creating an effective team. It is significant to the company to place the right people on the team. First, they must believe in the company’s vision and trust the leaders and each other as the change occurs. Developing a team of specialists and trailblazers who are committed to the result is essential in creating change in the organization.

The third step is developing a vision to the change. An organizational vision helps team member’s develop a sense of direction of where the company is to move to. Therefore, creating a vision will help motivate the staff by utilizing it as a guide to success. In addition, all decisions within the organization are centered from the vision statement.

The fourth step is communicating the vision. Every organization must share the company’s goals and vision to staff daily. The vision of the establishment should be placed wherever employees read, such as company newsletters, email, and at every meeting associated in the organization. Leaders have to follow through with the vision; leaders are influential and have to set the example for the team. Another point the vision should be straightforward, engaging, and clear.

The fifth step is removing obstacles. As stated leaders are influential, however, not all will follow the change. Therefore, an assessment is required of the transition in progress. What to look for is resistance. If there is resistance, take action immediately. Next is the formation of the organization this includes benefits; job descriptions and compensation programs are all aligned with the vision of the company.

The sixth step, creating wins for the organization. Setting goals is vital in organizational change. There are two category ranges in planning. One is short-term and the other is long-term. Wins are motivational to the staff. Therefore, by establishing short-term goals and achieving them excites the team. They feel the victory and will want to resume with the winning.

The seventh step is keep moving change. Sometimes when we see an improvement, we tend to sit back and let it flow on its own. This method is not correct. Keep transforming the organization. Continuously, show the efforts of change in addition to how successful the team is by living the vision and implementing the plan to reach a goal. Add in new projects to stimulate productivity and empowerment. With consistent exchanging of ideas and modifications now and then, change will become more acceptable.

Step eight, the last step secure change into the culture of the organization. Lastly, to join change into the enterprise it must be part of the culture of the business. Culture is the values within the organization’s vision. In addition, it will ensure change to be a continuous part of the company’s culture (Kotter International, 2012).

Lewin’s Three-Step Change Theory

Kurt Lewin was a psychologist and had a philosophical approach on social psychology. Lewin viewed behavior as a balance of influences working opposite directions. Motivating energies make a smooth the progress of change since they push employees in a preferred direction. Therefore, his research led to three focusing dynamics (Smith, 2001).

Stage 1: Unfreezing

Lewin’s first step is unfreezing also can be called the comfort stage. When employees are feeling comfortable in their work situation, they become frozen, resistant to change. To unfreeze employee’s motivation has to take place. In this stage as leaders, we have to prepare ourselves to move on, therefore, we can help set up success for employees in the organization. In addition to preparing teams for change trust and recognition must be first be met to move forward for the need of change (Gizzellis, 2007).

Stage 2: Transition

Lewin’s second stage is the transition stage. In the transition, staff there will be some resistance from a few employees. However, once they see the benefits of change refusal to go along will be a thing of the past. Employees will take possession of the circumstances and get-up-and-go for themselves and the organization. Remember, in the transition stage staff is looking for a new way of doing things. Therefore, they will start performing better, which leads to motivation.

Stage 3: Freeze


Finally, the third stage is the freeze. Once the team is motivated and moving in the right direction, it is vital for the company to lock in the success only for a short period. However, locking the process of successful change does not involve a slowdown. The development of change management has to continue to be maintained. Furthermore, this freeze period is a good time to celebrate success, review performance and reward on merit (Kaminski, 2001).

Both Kotter and Lewin’s models are rational and goal orientated. Even so, there may be feelings and negative responses from employees. On the other hand, there will be enthusiasm and feelings of ownership with other employees. Therefore, leaders of an organization must have a clear vision of what it takes to lead an organization to success. Which model will you use in your organization?



Gizzells, J., (2007), Behavior Change Theories & Models, Retrieved from
Kaminski, J., (2001), Theory applied to informatics – Lewin’s Change Theory, Retrieved from, www.
Kotter International, (2012), The eight-step process for leading change, Retrieved from,
Smith, M., ( 2001), Kurt Lewin groups experiential learning & action: Research the encyclopedia of informal education, Retrieved from,

Posted by Carmel Speruggia in Management, 0 comments