What is the Lewin's Change Model?

The Lewin’s Change Model is a Framework that explains How Change Occurs and How it can be Managed.

  • Its name comes from the person who conceived it: Kurt Lewin.

 

It proposes that each Change goes through, or should go through 3 Steps:

  1. Unfreeze.
  2. Change.
  3. Freeze.

 

Unlike other Models, it offers a Simple Framework that can be easily remembered.

The Three Steps of Lewin's Change Model

Lewin’s Change Model

 

1. Unfreeze: What Changes, or must be Changed, has to be weakened.

  • To forge steel, you must make it malleable.

 

2. Change: Implement the “New Normal“.

  • How things will be done from now on.

 

3. Freeze: Secure and Protect theNew Normal“.

  • So that the change has no turning back.

 

For the first example, we want you to think about what happens when you buy a New Car:

Lewin's Change Model example

 

This example may sound a bit weird but think about what happens when you buy a new car:

  • You can’t find the “Bluetooth” connection in the Dashboard.
  • You don’t know how to move the rear-view mirrors.
  • You don’t even know what your car can do.

 

Over the weeks:

  • You mentally Unfreeze what you used to do.
  • You Change How you drive your Car.
  • You Freeze your new habits, even forgetting what you used to do.

 

This same process takes place whenever you buy a New Computer, a New Phone, etc.

  • This is How we deal with Change naturally.

Now, before looking at different examples, we want to give you some Tips on how to Approach and Manage Change successfully.

  • Based on our own Professional experience.

 

* Remember: We have restructured dozens of companies so… We are used to changing work dynamics.

How to use Lewin's Change Model

Identify Perfectly what needs to be Changed.

  • Otherwise, some things may not Change or may not Change in the desired way.

 

Have a good plan for Change.

  • And explain to the people involved Why the Change is necessary.

 

Don’t start a Change without knowing what to do next.

  • Don’t Change just for Changing. You have to know where you are going.

 

When securing the “New Normal”, don’t look back.

  • Regard Change as a one way road. Otherwise, the Change will be unconvincing.

As we usually say, the best way to understand this Tool and How you can use it is by sharing some examples with you:

Lewin's Change Model examples

We have chosen 3 different examples of common professional situations where Lewin’s Change Model can be of great help.

 

Let’s begin:

Management Style - Lewin's Change Model example

 

Let’s imagine that you’ve just been promoted to Manager.

  • And you want to change the way things work.

 

Since you don’t know how to get started, you decide to use Lewin’s Change Model.

What do you decide to do?

 

Unfreeze:

  • First of all, you identify all the procedures you want to Change.
  • Second, you meet with your employees and ask their opinion on:
    • What works and what doesn’t work.
    • What they thing should be Changed and what shouldn’t.

 

In this way, you’ll:

  • Get important information about things you may be missing.
  • Let everybody know that things will soon Change.

 

Change:

  • You implement Change, training your employees on How to do things in the New Way.

You prepare a schedule with deadlines and milestones to meet.

 

Freeze:

Once everything starts working as you want, you decide to:

  • Implement metrics that will be used to evaluate the Change.
  • Schedule a weekly meeting to track and evaluate progress.
  • Compare the results obtained with those obtained before.

Job Change - Lewin's Change Model example

 

Now let’s imagine that you’ve just started a New Job.

  • And you are very used to your old Job.

 

That is why you think you need to use a Model of Change.

  • To help you adjust to your new responsibilities.

 

That is why you decide to use Lewin’s Change Model.

What do you decide to do?

 

Unfreeze:

  • You list all your past Habits and Responsibilities that will Change.

 

Different Job positions imply different work dynamics.

  • By highlighting the differences, you will adjust to your new position faster.

 

Change:

  • Then, you begin to Learn and Internalize your new Dynamics.
    • Who will you report to.
    • What Performance metrics you will employ.
    • Which workers you will be in charge of.

 

Freeze:

  • Finally, you force yourself to remember everything, every day.
    • You track your progress with an Excel Sheet.
    • You use a notebook to write down everything.
    • And before going to sleep, you read everything again and again.

 

A week after starting your new job, everyone is impressed by how quickly you adjusted.

  • You remember everybody’s name, meeting times, metrics employed, etc.

 

* This example is based on a Real life Situation of someone we coached a few years ago.

  • Nowadays, She is a Top Manager in a Multinational company.

New Skill - Lewin's Change Model example

 

Finally, we’ll imagine that you want to learn a New Skill.

  • You need this New Skill to carry out your tasks successfully.

 

Decades have passed since you “learned” a new skill.

  • That is why you decide to use Lewin’s Change Mode.

What do you decide to do?

 

Unfreeze:

  • First of all, you try to overcome your reluctance to learn this New Skill.
    • You do this by learning about this New Skill and why it is important.

 

* Tip: The best way to motivate yourself for learning something new is to learn about it and why it is important.

 

Change:

  • You then Study, Learn and Internalize this New Skill.
  • You compare what you used to do with what you’ll do from now on.

 

When learning a new skill, it is important to continually check how much time and effort it saves you.

  • In this way, you will use it and improve much more.

 

Freeze:

  • Finally, you decide to use this new ability in your day to day.
    • Not just in your Job or Hobby.

 

When you use a skill at all times, you get used to it much faster.

  • The more you use it, the better you will do it.
    • When you learn a new language, the more you use it, the better.

Summarizing

Lewin’s Change Model is a Framework that explain How Change Occurs and How they can be Managed.

 

It proposes that each Change goes through, or should go through 3 Steps:

  1. Unfreeze: What Changes, or must be Changed, has to be weakened.
  2. Change: Implement the “New Normal”.
  3. Freeze: Secure and Protect the “New Normal”.

 

Tips on how to Approach and Manage Change successfully:

  • Identify Perfectly what needs to be Changed.
  • Have a good plan for Change.
  • Don’t start a Change without knowing what to do next.
  • When securing the “New Normal”, don’t look back.

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