Change management strategies
Lewin’s Three-Stage ModelSocial psychologist Kurt Lewin’s model of change management identifies three key stages in this process:
- Unfreeze: Overcoming the inertia of the status quo to critically examine present ways of working
- Change: Transitioning to new structures, methods, and behaviors
- Freeze: Re-establishing and stabilizing normal patterns of work with new processes in place
The Deming CycleThe Deming Cycle, named for W. Edwards Deming and also sometimes referred to as PDSA or PDCA, is a continuous process that should repeat many times in the life of an organisation:
- Plan: Think ahead about the necessary or desired changes; set clear objectives and measures of success; try to predict outcomes, both positive and negative
- Do: Implement the plan; take small, controlled steps and monitor the outcomes
- Study (or Check): Analyse the outcomes of the actions taken; identify successes and areas for improvement
- Act: Institute the changes, including any modification in goals or processes developed in the previous steps
Kotter’s Eight-Step ProcessRefining the stages discussed above, Harvard Business School Professor Emeritus John Kotter, who now runs Kotter International, has outlined the following eight steps for leading successful change:
- Create a sense of urgency
- Build the guiding coalition
- Form a strategic vision and initiatives
- Enlist a volunteer army
- Enable action by removing barriers
- Generate short-term wins
- Sustain acceleration
- Institute change
CIPD GuidanceThe Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), working with the University of Bath, have researched and proposed principles of change management falling under three themes:
- Techniques for building understanding: creating purposeful instability and ambiguity to arouse critical engagement; using narratives, conversations, metaphors and physical representations to transform rhetoric into action
- Managing the transformation: Using relational leadership to build trust, dialogue, and positive momentum; taking criticism as constructive feedback
Your TurnLook back at the “Organizational growing pains, learning from setbacks” discussion (Step 2.3). Take a moment to reflect on one of your past experiences. Do you think any of the change models discussed in this article might have helped you? Or have you used another change management strategy successfully in the past? Please share with other learners in the comments below.
Social Enterprise: Growing a Sustainable Business
Our purpose is to transform access to education.
We offer a diverse selection of courses from leading universities and cultural institutions from around the world. These are delivered one step at a time, and are accessible on mobile, tablet and desktop, so you can fit learning around your life.
We believe learning should be an enjoyable, social experience, so our courses offer the opportunity to discuss what you’re learning with others as you go, helping you make fresh discoveries and form new ideas.
You can unlock new opportunities with unlimited access to hundreds of online short courses for a year by subscribing to our Unlimited package. Build your knowledge with top universities and organisations.