It is commonly said that change is the only constant in life.Therefore, for individuals and businesses that desire to remainalive, they must learn how to adapt and live with change. Fororganizations, change is an important concept in management and canmean the death or success of a firm in fluctuating environments.Several models propose different ways that companies can use tomaneuver through change and ensure they are better placed than thecompetition. Below is a brief description of the major models with alook at their pros and cons and relevance to modern organizations.
Kurt Lewin, a psychologist by profession, developed this theory inthe 1950s. He used his knowledge in human phycology to claim thatpeople tend to operate within distinct zones of safety. The firststage is unfreezing. He argued that people prefer their comfort zoneand resist change and must be motivated to move. The third stage isthe transition, which is marked by offering guidance, leadership, andreassurance through the unfamiliar process of change. The third stageis successfully incorporating, accepting, and recognizing change asthe new comfort zone. The model is easy to apply and still widelyused by many organizations for its simplicity and success rates(Hayes 2014).
The founder of Prosci, Jeff Hiatt, developed the model. Its name isan abbreviation for the actions and outcomes required to attainchange. ‘A’ represents awareness of the need to change. ‘D’stands for the desire to support and participate in change efforts.‘K’ is for knowledge of how to change. ‘A’ is for ability and‘R’ is for reinforcement needed to sustain the change. the modelis straightforward and addresses well the soft issues inorganizations.
Created by Harvard University professor, John Kotter, the modelidentifies key steps to attain change.
1. Intensify the resolution for a change.
2. Build a team enthusiastic to change.
3. Generate the vision for a change.
4. Communicate the need to change.
5. Endow employees with the capacity to change.
6. Make short term goals.
7. Remain persistent.
8. Incorporate change into the culture.
The progressivesteps cannot be skipped, are easy to follow, and can apply both inprojects or entire organizations. However, they consume time andresources (Cameron & Green 2012).
The model offers a holistic approach to change and is one of the mostwidely employed in organizations. A group of scholars developed it in1978 and identified seven shared factors that drive change. They are:
1. Shared values
One of the keystrengths of the model is that it combines emotional and rationalcomponents and address them in a unified manner. However, theseaspects also make it complicated to implement meaning that it recordshigher cases of failure compared to other models (Cameron & Green2012).
In 1998 Sean Covey published a book highlighting effective habits ofteens that were also applicable to adults. The model is derived fromthis book and identifies seven ways to attain a change inorganizations by altering habits of its people. They are:
1. Be proactive
2. Visualize the desired end
4. Think Win/Win
5. Seek first to understand, then to be understood synergy
6. Collaboration and
7. Preserve and enhance the change i.e. Sharpen the Saw.
The model issuitable as it recognizes changing organizations as solely involvingpeople and not business processes (Cameron & Green 2012).
Kubler-RossStages of Change
The model is inclined towards the inner feelings and responses peoplehave towards grief. The five main stages are denial, anger,depression, bargaining, and acceptance. Thus, attitudes towards griefare assumed to apply in responding to change. The model`s coreadvantage is that allows people to understand their individualbehavior and that of colleagues in the face of change (Hayes 2014).
Hayes, J. (2014).The theory and practice of change management. New York:Palgrave
Cameron, E. &Green, M. (2012). Making sense of change management: a completeguide to the
models tools and techniques of organizational change. NewYork: Kogan Publishers.