Change Management Models for the Success of the Organization
The speed of changes on the market is constantly growing, and in order for the organization to adapt to them effectively, the latter cannot do without a deep understanding of the basic stages of change, and the main instrument that can bring the maximum impact. The correct usage of change management models can help organizations to survive and stay relevant in the rapidly changing world.
Yuan Liu (2009) points out there are two types of change management models according to the approach: prescriptive and emergent. Both of them have certain advantages and drawbacks. The most prominent models are Lewin’s change management model, and ADKAR model.
Kurt Lewin’s change model exists since the first half of the last century, yet over the years it has become increasingly popular because it is applicable and easy to understand. According to it, there are three main stages of change: unfreezing, changing and refreezing.
Most people tend to strive for stability and control of the surrounding reality. They create a static atmosphere around themselves and identify themselves with it. Any change, even that ensures the improvement of life in the future, causes discomfort to them. Therefore, unfreezing of employees and the system requires an enormous effort. The main task of this stage is to bring the organization into a state of “readiness for change”, to lead out the employees from the state of resistance to change, to make sure that they want to take the first step of updating the organization.
Changing is the second phase of this model, namely practical implementation of required changes. John Kotter and Schlesinger L. consider an attempt to implement changes without a carefully designed plan to be a widely spread mistake of managers. For a successful implementation of changes, it is not enough to have an idea and to inspire its participants in the process; you also need a strategy of changes, coherent with the peculiarities of the situation in the organization.
The final stage is refreezing, the creation of new patterns, new informal but recognized norms of behavior and relationships. It is necessary to consolidate achieved progress and to benefit from the changes. At this stage, managers should recognize and reward new models of behavior of employees and punish the old ones. For the efficient operation of the company, it is necessary to complete the third phase of the change process and, consequently, the whole process of change in the company.
ADKAR model is a result-oriented approach used for managing personal changes, with concentration on the discussion of changes and definition of corrective actions. It can identify the causes of failure of the implementation of any changes, and outline the steps needed to improve the effectiveness of the changes. Using it, you will be able to divide the process of change into several parts to see which of them is hiding the reason for failure and work to eliminate this problem.
Jeff Hiatt developed ADKAR model in 2003 based on research projects of major changes ongoing in more than 700 companies, and described it (2006). An independent research company Prosci introduced it later. This model is useful as a learning tool to help workers involved in the change process. The purpose of it is to give each person the knowledge and tools needed for change. ADKAR describes a framework and sequence for successful change. The model has five constituents: awareness – awareness of the necessity of changes, desire – desire to participate and support the change, knowledge – knowledge of how to implement the changes, ability – ability to apply the necessary skills and competencies, reinforcement – fixing the changes. Organizational changes are successful when all of those who deal with these changes have five ADKAR blocks.
If some model were perfect, there would be no need to create other models. Managers should be serious about choosing a model and follow it carefully. Following a certain model, such as Lewin’s or ADKAR model, will allow undergoing changes more successfully.