Change is an unavoidable, but dreaded, part of running a business, which naturally incites uncertainty and contradictory reactions among employees. Certain employers tend to suppress any resistance without dialogue or negotiation, which is neither only nor the most efficient way to face evolution. The change management models are intended to serve as compasses, guiding you and your team through tough transitions and toward acceptance and implementation of new developments. Within the modern business practice, several approaches were designed to better understand the processes that an organizational change catalyzes and weaponizes these processes to benefit the overall corporate prosperity.
The 8-Step Process for Leading Change was developed from Dr. Kotter’s observations of many leaders and originated as a response to a common struggle for successful change implementation. He discovered the success variables, abstracted them, and merged them into a technique. The 8-Stage Change Model is intended to bring long-term change to an organization, with each step and its chronological order being equally significant (Galli, 2018). Leaders in the organization who will be responsible for developing, implementing, and managing change must have a thorough understanding of each step to properly implement it.
The first stage is to get everyone, followers and leaders alike, out of their comfort zones, creating a sense of time constraint. Everyone must recognize and appreciate the need for change, as well as the urgency of that change. Secondly, a guiding coalition team should be formed, since any transformation endeavor is a project in and of itself, and thus requires a project unit. The project’s leader should try to assemble a group of volunteers who completely believe in the need for change and are aware of the project’s objectives. Thirdly, the development of an inspiring vision would raise the general levels of internal morale. After the initial three steps, a manager could convey the new vision of the post-change company, empower others to contribute to the grander success, establish achievable milestones, sustain the acceleration, and monitor compliance. Overall, the model is focused on implementing the change in a long-term format, rather than on a quick fix.
The detailed approach of this strategy is a sharp contrast to the three-step Lewin’s model. It instructs businesses to unfreeze, implement changes and then refreeze. A simpler approach sounds promising and yet at the same time, it suggests general usability outside of the industry context. Unfreezing the process entails examining each stage for potential changes (Galli, 2018). It also relates to how a company views the process, prospective adjustments, and any opposition that may arise. After the manager has prepped everyone, it’s time to put their modifications into action and direct the team through the process. One must “refreeze” your new status quo after the modifications have been applied, assessed, and modified in response to feedback. This is critical to any change management strategy; if old patterns re-emerge, all you’ve done will be for naught.
A good example of Lewin’s management change model would be an introduction of the Covid-19 guidelines in McDonald’s restaurants. The status quo was unfrozen by a proclaimed necessity of abolishing indoor seating. The change was then implemented by closing the seating area and promoting the firm’s takeout services. Finally, the refreezing occurred as the employees were consistently monitored to comply with the social distancing rules.
Galli, B. J. (2018). Change management models: A comparative analysis and concerns. IEEE Engineering Management Review, 46(3), 124-132.