Table of Contents
Organizations and companies undergo various changes on a daily basis. This can be attributed to the ever-changing business environment or the changing nature of the world, in general. Change is managed in a certain manner to ensure its successful implementation. Essentially, poor change management can easily lead to failures in organizations or companies, considering that it may not be able to achieve its main goals or objectives. Different change management processes have been developed by scholars to enable companies and organizations to manage the faced changes in the desired manner (Black, 2004). The current paper reviews Kotter’s eight-step change model, Lewin’s three step model, and the five steps involved in action research after which it will answer some questions, based on the above mentioned models.
Kotter’s 8-Step Change Model
As mentioned above, organizations and companies undergo various changes on a daily basis. However, most companies might find it problematic to manage the changes in the desired manner. This is because they may be unable to comprehend where to begin or where to end. They may also find it hard to understand people that should be involved in the change process and the way they need to ensure everything goes as planned. Kotter came up with the 8-step model to ensure that such issues are handled with ease (Hughes, 2007).
The first step normally entails creating urgency. There is no way change can happen without people realizing they need the change. With this being the case, the management of an organization or a company needs to ensure its employees are aware of the need to change.
The next step entails the formation of a powerful team or coalition that will ensure the change is implemented. The management needs to convince people on the need for change. This can only be achieved through strong leadership.
The third step entails the creation of a vision for the change process. It is common to find that whenever a change process is proposed, many ideas and opinions will arise. It is essential for the management to ensure the ideas are linked to a common vision that can be understood by many people in the organization or company. Everyone needs to be well aware of the change’s end results. This is a strategy that also ensures that people are able to make sense out of the directives they are given.
The fifth step involves the removal of all the obstacles that might impede the change process. For example, it is essential to ensure that no one is resisting the change, as this affects the process of change. The management must also ensure that structures and process are favorable to the change process. This should be a continuous process. The management needs to ensure that it examines the change process from time to time to ensure there are no obstacles that may be arising during the implementation process. The removal of obstacles can go a long way in empowering the people to implement the vision.
Besides, it is significant for the management to create short-term wins. This is the sixth step in the process of change management. This strategy motivates people to work harder to ensure the change is successful. People involved in the change need to know they are making a sigh of progress. This can be seen by creating short-term wins. This can also lead negative thinkers to develop a positive attitude towards the change.
The seventh step entails building on the change. One of the major reasons why many change activities fail in organizations or companies is declaring a win when it is too early. Managers are ought to understand the fact that true change always runs deep (Jabri, 2012).
The last, but not least, step entails anchoring the changes in the organizational culture. The main reason as to why organizations change is to ensure their performances improve. Therefore, after completing the change process, the change should be embedded in the organizational culture. This should be done to ensure a change becomes a part of the organization. It also helps to ensure that people do not go back old ways of doing things. Fundamentally, failure to embed the same in the organizational culture, can easily lead to people failing to apply it in their day-to-day work.
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Lewin’s Three-Change Model
Kurt Lewin came up with a model that involved three steps, namely: unfreezing, changing and refreezing. This is a model, which represents a simple and a practical theory to understand the process of change. According to Lewin, the process entails the management to create a perception that there is a need for change, move towards the new desired behavior level, then solidify the new behavior as the organization’s norm.
Unfreezing is the stage that involves the management preparing the employees for the fact that there is a need for change. This stage will involve the breakdown of the existing status quo before one builds up new ways of operating. The key thing is to make people understand that the existing way of doing things is not good enough and a change is necessary.
Change stage takes place after creating uncertainty in the unfreezing stage; the stage of change comes in, when people begin resolving their uncertainties and start looking for new methods of operations. People will have to take some time, embracing the new directions and are proactive in the change process.
Refreeze stage happens when changes are taking place and shape, as people have embraced new ways of working. Therefore, the organization is ready to refreeze. This stage is ought to help the employees and the company to institutionalize the changes. The management is ought to make sure that the new ways of doing things are always utilized.
The Five Steps Involved in Action Research
Action research in change theory involves diagnosing the change, planning the change, acting on the change and evaluating/monitoring the change.
Question 1 Discussion
The question can be answered well, using the Lewin model of change. The CEO ought to have created the perception to the employees that change is needed in what Lewin calls unfreezing. He ought to have developed a compelling message to show that the exiting ways of working cannot continue. He can use the declining sales, poor financial results, the complaining customers and the likes to necessitate change. Though this part is difficult, it will make the employees realize that they need to change the way they do things (Hughes, 2007). After the unfreezing, the CEO should have institutionalized the change and make the staff pro-active in the change process. The CEO should have then followed the ‘refreeze’ stage and made the change part of the organization.
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Question #2 and #3 Answers
The CEOs should also apply Lewin’s three steps of changes. In the process of making a strategic change for the company, the executives need to acknowledge that:
- The current strategy is no longer working for the company
- They need to establish a vision for the future direction of the company
- They need to devise the appropriate measures to implement the change and set up new systems to support the change.
Different change management processes have been developed to enable the managers to manage change in the desired manner. The processes have enabled managers in organizations to change their change management culture. Kotter’s model is one of the models that have enabled managers to manage change in the desired manner. Kotter’s change model has had a great impact in change management culture. For example, traditionally, managers have used force to be able to implement change. With this being the case, employees have had no other choice but to comply with the change, otherwise they would face serious consequences. This culture has prevailed in many organizations and companies.