How to use Change Management Models

Change management models are methods by which the processes of change management are implemented. Change is the vein that keeps an organization alive and change management can make or break the organization. Change management is technical term for the approach to change organizations, teams or/and individuals form their current state to desired future state.

To assist in managing the task of changing there have developed several change management models.  The models have been formulated as a result of the successful application of the methods described in them.

Some af the most common change management models include

  • Lewin’s Change Management Model
  • 7 s Model
  • 5 P Model

Lewin’s Change Management Model

The idea behind this change management model is that if you have a cube of ice, but you desire to have a cone of ice, you first melt the cube, shape the liquid and refreeze to have your cone of ice. In simple terms, if you desire a change in an organization, you first break down the existing structures and then build the desired ones.

The first step of unfreezing involves getting the organization to acknowledge the necessity of the change and breaking down their existing values, which include culture, attitudes, procedures and behaviors. This stage of the change management model is the most difficult one. To do this, you have to prove beyond every reasonable doubt that the change is in the right direction. You can do this by comparing figures on sales, financials, customer complaints on dissatisfaction and surveys or by challenging and questioning these values. There is the need for force at this stage because there will be so much opposition especially when people are used to a way of doing things and you come to tell them you have a new way.

Once the organization is able to appreciate the need for change, the change stage begins. This will be gradual though, but with time things will pick up. To accept this change they need to understand how much the change is in their interest.

After people have accepted and are comfortable with the change, the refreeze stage begins. This comes naturally as the organizational chart becomes stable and job descriptions become consistent

7 s Model

Adapted from a Japanese management technique, this change management model emphasizes on complete change in the core of the organization, namely

  • Shared values: the vision and mission of the organization
  • Strategy: this could be production, sales and management strategies
  • Structure: the physical and value structures in place
  • Systems: communication procedures
  • Style: production and leadership styles
  • Staff: the employees who do the work
  • Skills: the entire skill set of the organization

This model is a complete ‘purging’ system because it tackles the very basics of the organization. It applies the change to the very roots and so is the most effective. You change strategies, core values, communication models and train and hire new skills

5 P’s Model

Similar to the 7 s model, this change management model was developed by Dr. Leslie Toombs, J. Chris White and Dr. Mildred Golden Pryor. This model describes the mission statement as the first step in change management. It involves identifying the weaknesses in the organization and which may need a change. The second step is describing processes that will produce the desired change. The change is then carried out by changing all the values described in the 7 s model (skills, structures, systems, staff and strategies.) and people re-organized with well defined job descriptions.

The final stage in the 5 p’s change management model is to measure the performance of the change. The advantage this change management model offers is that it leaves a lot of room for further change. It is however necessary for people to fully understand the processes of change to implement this model.

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