Change management is the process of identifying, planning, and implementing changes in an organization. It is an important aspect of business operations because organizations are constantly facing new challenges and opportunities that require them to adapt and evolve.
A change management framework is a structured approach that helps organizations plan and execute changes effectively. It includes a set of processes, tools, and techniques that are used to identify the need for change, develop a plan for implementing the change, and monitor and assess the impact of the change.
Top 8 Change Management Frameworks
Lewin’s Change Management Model
This model, developed by psychologist Kurt Lewin, is based on the idea that change involves three stages: unfreezing, changing, and refreezing. The unfreezing stage involves preparing the organization for change by breaking down resistance to it.
For example, if a company is considering implementing a new customer relationship management (CRM) system, the unfreezing stage might involve communicating the benefits of the new system to employees and addressing any concerns they might have. The changing stage involves implementing the change. For example, this might involve training employees on the new CRM system and transitioning to using it on a daily basis. The refreezing stage involves stabilizing the change and making it part of the organization’s new status quo. For example, this might involve setting performance goals that are tied to the use of the new CRM system and rewarding employees for meeting those goals.
McKinsey 7-S Change Management Model
This model, developed by consultants at McKinsey & Company, looks at seven key elements of organizational change: strategy, structure, systems, shared values, style, staff, and skills. It emphasizes the importance of aligning these elements in order to achieve successful change.
When a company is considering expanding into a new market, for example, this model would encourage it to consider how the expansion would impact its overall strategy, the organizational structure that would be needed to support it, the systems that would be required to manage the expansion, the shared values that would guide the expansion, the leadership style that would be needed to support it, the staff that would be required to execute the expansion, and the skills that would be needed to succeed in the new market.
Kotter’s 8-step Change Management Model
This model, developed by John Kotter, is a widely-used approach to change management. It involves eight steps: establishing a sense of urgency, creating a guiding coalition, developing a vision and strategy, communicating the vision, empowering others to act on the vision, creating short-term wins, consolidating gains and producing more change, and anchoring new approaches in the organization’s culture.
For instance, if your company is planning to implement a new HR system, the Kotter model can be applied to establish a sense of urgency by highlighting the benefits of the new system and the potential risks of not implementing it. The company might then create a guiding coalition of key stakeholders to lead the change effort, develop a vision and strategy for the implementation, communicate the vision to employees, and empower them to take ownership of the change. The company might also focus on creating short-term wins by demonstrating the value of the new HR system early on and consolidating gains by continuing to improve the system over time.
Finally, the company might anchor the new HR system in its culture by making it a key part of its HR policies and procedures.
Kübler-Ross’ Change Curve
This model, developed by psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, is based on the idea that individuals go through five stages of grief when faced with change: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. It is often used to help organizations understand how individuals may react to change and to develop strategies to support them through the process.
This model is very helpful when you need to develop an effective communication plan and give support. With so many tech companies announcing massive layoffs these days, the Kübler-Ross model would predict that some employees may go through stages of denial, anger, and bargaining as they come to terms with the change. The company might use this model to carefully structure its communication that addresses these stages and provides support to employees as they navigate the change.
ADKAR Change Management Model
This model, developed by Prosci, is based on the idea that individuals go through five stages of change: awareness, desire, knowledge, ability, and reinforcement. It is designed to help organizations understand how to support individuals through the change process and to ensure that change is sustained over time.
We can find this model helpful when a company is preparing to release a new policy. By providing related guidance based on the ADKAR model, the company can ensure that employees are aware of the change and understand why it is important. Afterward, they can be encouraged to adopt the new policy and equipped with the knowledge and skills to implement it. Finally, the company can provide necessary reinforcement for them to continuously follow the policy.
PDSA Cycle aka Deming Cycle
PDSA model, also known as the Deming Cycle, is based on the idea of continuous improvement. It involves four steps: Plan, Do, Study, and Act. It is often used to help organizations test and implement small changes, and to learn from the results in order to make further improvements.
For example, before a company starts to build a new process for onboarding new employees, it might use the PDSA cycle to test a pilot version of the process and gather feedback from employees and managers. Based on the feedback, the company might make adjustments to the process and test it again until it is satisfied with the results.
This theory, developed by behavioral economists Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein, is based on the idea that small changes in the environment can influence people’s behavior in a predictable way. It is often used to help organizations implement small changes that can have a big impact on behavior.
Nowadays, as more companies are committed to tackling climate change and reducing carbon emissions, for example, we want to encourage employees to use public transportation instead of driving to work. The Nudge theory is highly recommended to implement small changes to the workplace environment, such as providing more bike racks or making public transportation schedules more visible, that make it easier for employees to make the switch.
Bridges’ Transition Change Management Model
This change model, developed by William Bridges, is based on the idea that change involves three stages: ending, neutral zone, and new beginning. It is designed to help individuals and organizations navigate the emotional aspects of change and to find meaning and purpose in the new situation.
When a company is considering moving to a new location, employees might go through a stage of ending where they say goodbye to their current workspace and colleagues. They might then enter a neutral zone where they are in transition and may feel uncertainty and confusion. Finally, they might reach a new beginning where they adapt to their new workspace and begin to thrive in their new environment. The company might use the Bridges model to help employees walk through these stages by providing support and resources during the transition.
Change Management Process
There are many different approaches to change management, and each change management framework may have a slightly different process for managing change. However, there are some common elements that are found in most change management processes. These include:
- Identifying the need for change: This involves understanding the reasons why the organization needs to change and determining the scope of the change.
- Developing a plan: This involves creating a roadmap for implementing the change, including timelines, resources, roles and responsibilities, and performance goals.
- Communicating the plan: This involves sharing the change plan with all stakeholders and ensuring that everyone is aware of and involved in the process.
- Implementing the change: This involves executing the change plan and ensuring that all parties are on track to meet the desired outcomes.
- Monitoring and measuring the impact: This involves collecting data on the impact of the change and using it to assess the effectiveness of the change and make any necessary adjustments.
Differences Between Change Management Models and Change Management Strategies
Change management models are structured approaches to managing change that provide a framework for understanding and navigating the change process. They typically outline a set of steps or stages that organizations can follow in order to successfully implement change. Examples of change management models include Lewin’s Change Management Model, McKinsey 7-S Change Management Model, Kotter’s 8-step Change Management Model, and ADKAR Change Management Model.
Change management strategies, on the other hand, are specific tactics that are used to execute the change plan and achieve the desired outcomes. These strategies may include things like training and development programs, communication campaigns, stakeholder engagement efforts, and performance management systems. Change management strategies are typically chosen based on the specific needs and goals of the organization and may be customized to fit the organization’s culture, resources, and capabilities.
In summary, change management models provide a framework for understanding and navigating the change process, while change management strategies are specific tactics used to execute the change plan and achieve the desired outcomes. Both are important components of an effective change management approach.
Change management is an important aspect of business operations because organizations are constantly facing new challenges and opportunities that require them to adapt and evolve. A change management framework is a structured approach that helps organizations plan and executes changes effectively.
There are many different change management frameworks available, each with its own set of processes, tools, and techniques. Some common elements of a change management process include identifying the need for change, developing a plan, communicating the plan, implementing the change, and monitoring and measuring the impact. Change management strategies are specific tactics that are used to execute the change plan and achieve the desired outcomes.
It is important for organizations to choose an appropriate change management framework and strategies that best fit their needs and goals.