Kurt’s Model of Change
Kurt’s model of change involves three steps: unfreezing, transition, and freezing. Each of these stages is essential in implementing change. However, each has mechanisms which make implementing it difficult.
Unfreezing is the first step towards change in an organization, and even in individual life. Unfreezing is the act of creating awareness of the importance of change. To develop awareness of the need for change, it is necessary to create situations that will make people understand that things are not working well as they are (Kritsonis, 2004). There are several ways of unfreezing. For example, training people and highlighting the failures of the current system. In addition, if people remain adamant, creating a provocative problem which is difficult or impossible to solve within the current system may create awareness.
Unfreezing becomes difficult to implement since different people react to events differently. In an organization which has many employees, to come up with problems or events that will make theme see the need for change is challenging. Some will see the need for change after training, while others will not see it until a crisis falls. To create a scenario that will provoke all to change becomes problematic.
The transition stage is the step that involves building the new ways of doing things. This step is rigorous and time consuming. The employees must adapt to every new installation or change: in the way they conduct themselves, react and even relate to each other. It is important that the workforce understands the intended changes well to adapt to them smoothly. Constant communication is the only way for a smooth transition.
Three mechanisms make it difficult to implement this step. First, it requires a lot of time, which may not be convenient for the business. People cannot adapt to changes over the course of a few days or a week. It may take months to adapt to changes, which may hurt the business. Second, the transition may result in crisis and confusin. People do not adapt at the same pace. Therefore, some will be ahead while others will lag behind. There will be confusion in operation, as some will work within the new system and others – within the old. Last, some people are resistant to change even though they understand its benefits for the business and the environment. Such people may be getting benefit from status quo thus making it difficult for the new system to operate. At this point, eliminating such personnel is inevitable.
Freezing is locking things in the process. That is making the changes the current business culture (Bazerman, & Moore, 2013). Freezing is crucial since it eliminates confusion about what systems to use. Freezing may include eliminating old systems which are not in line with the changes. However, in most cases, the organizations go back to their old ways, but within the new systems.
The fact that change is dynamic and continuous makes freezing difficult. The changes are considered new mostly temporary, until the organization starts a new change process. Therefore, freezing always lasts for a short period. Nevertheless, it is vital to do it.
This three-step process is also applicable in personal decision-making. I can apply the model in my decision-making process mostly to initiate change. At times, it is difficult to start off a change process since I cannot see a dire need to do so. However, if I can manage to unfreeze, then it would become much simpler. In the personal decision-making process, the transition step is not emphasized since it involves just the one person. It is also important to enact freezing to affirm the change.
Analogical reasoning is the art of comparing a new thing or idea to the one that the mind knows. Analogical reasoning uses the mind’s ability to internalize information through patterns (Bazerman, & Moore, 2013). The brain compares a new idea or thing to another one that it knows, and then, using the similarities in the two, understands the new one (Salmon, 2012). It starts with identifying the target domain, then searching for an appropriate domain to compare.
Using analogical reasoning gives an idea of how something functions from an image point of view. In my last purchase decisions, it could have been more satisfying if I used analogical reasoning to grasp the functioning of the products prior to purchasing them. Using product description only to understand its functioning at times is not sufficient. For example, purchasing a temperature regulator it could be important to use analogical reasoning to determine which type to purchase. In this case, the target domain would be the different types of air conditioners. The reference domain could be the human respiratory system. To understand the functioning of the air-conditioner before the purchase could result in high satisfaction.
To understand the biases of others is a step towards improving decision-making. People depend on the information they possess to make decisions. If that information comes from biased sources, then the individual is most likely to make an error in the decision process. Moreover, understanding the fact that all human beings have some form of bias when it comes to making decisions promotes individuals’ awareness and caution. Decision-making should be cautious, effortful, rational and implicit (Bazerman, & Moore, 2013). However, people tend to turn to their intuitive self for decision-making, which is instant, effortless, emotional and explicit. In order to avoid involving your intuitive side it is important to understand the bias. This will help uncover the sources of bias, thus making it easy to deal with it (Moore et al., 2010). If a person is aware of the possible source of bias, then he or she can easily minimize its effect on his or her decision.
Group decisions are very complex, and to know the bias of every group member regarding the issue in questions is crucial. Everybody has beliefs that govern their way of thinking and behavior, and certain things may disagree with some of these beliefs.