2 Managing Change Models And Theories

January 4, 2018

Although many days at the workplace seem to blend in and you feel like you do the same tasks daily, you may not notice how much change permeates your working environment.

From new products and services, new systems, new candidates and new goals—change is constant.

The trick about managing change is that if it is not done properly, it can lead to havoc in your organisation.

One important skill all managers need to master is change management.

Follow the advice from these managing change models to improve your ability to manage change:

The ADKAR Model of Change

This model was developed by Jeff Hiatt of Prosci Change Management and is based on research from over 900 companies.

Hiatt believed that five things need to occur in order for change to occur on an individual and on an organisational level:

Awareness of the need for change (A)

The first step reminds managers that before initiating change, they need to explain to their staff why the change is occurring in the first place.

People are a lot more prone to accepting changes if they fully understand the need for it.

Desire to participate in and support the change (D)

Although some of your team members may comprehend that change should occur, they don’t have to accept it.

Managers should tout the benefits to the individual to help them support the upcoming changes.

Knowledge of how to change and what the change looks like (K)

Another mistake that bosses often make is not properly preparing their employees for changes.

If you want your goals to be realised, you must mentor, train and coach your staffers to properly handle the equipment or software, understand their new tasks or work with new teams—depending on what change is being introduced.

Ability to implement the change on a day-to-day basis (A)

This step can take the longest amount of time because it focuses on allowing the employees to implement the changes, which can take a while.

Slowly allowing them to adapt to what is happening instead of expecting unrealistic outcomes will be optimal for both them and you!

Reinforcement to sustain the change (R)

Upper management can spend both time and funds training employees in a new system or operations, but they are surprised later to see that the employees never kept up with the change.

Change is ever present, and to make sure it sticks, in needs to be “reinforced through positive feedback, rewards and recognition, measuring performance, and taking corrective actions,” according to a source.

Lewin’s Change Management Model

In the 1940s, Kurt Lewin, a physicist and social scientist, revolutionised the way people thought about organisational change with his 3-step model.

He focused on three goals which managers must meet in order to integrate change into their company—unfreeze, change and refreeze.

He compared making changes in the office to changing the shape of a block of ice.

You first need to unfreeze it to make it moldeable, then change its shape (example: round versus square ice mold) and then refreeze it to help it take its new shape.

Let’s take a look at each stage as it relates to changes in the workplace:


To prepare the employees to accept change, you need to deconstruct the current way of thinking and doing things.

By pointing out certain pitfalls or negatives, you can explain why change needs to occur.

Poor sales, bad customer service marks and overtired workers are all perfect reasons to explain the need to change things up.


This is a time for the employees to ponder why change should occur and consider ways to improve the status quo.


This stage is when the change is actually happening and everyone is on board!

This involves training, mentorship and regular feedback to make sure everyone is on the same page.

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