In the earlier-20th century, social psychologist Kurt Lewin first described the process of individual change as-
Unfreezing (when you overcome inertia, existing habits and mindsets also break down),
Change (a period of confusion when you challenge the old ways. But, as yet the future way of being is not clear),
and Refreezing (when you form new mindsets and habits in order to establish yourself).
Moreover, you restore a degree of psychological comfort through this process.
Whats in it-
- Lewin’s Change Management Model
- The 3 Stages of Change
- Force Field Analysis
- Steps of Force Field Analysis
Lewin’s Change Management Model
The second best-known and also one of the oldest change models is Lewin’s Three-Stage Model of Change.
Mr. Kurt Lewin was an American social psychologist of German origin.
His research focuses on factors that influence people to change, and he determined this change model which contains these three stages:
- Change Stage
The 3 Stages of Change
The first stage dedicates to the preparation and also getting ready to change.
It is the most important stage. The core thing is to identify the needed change.
And it is getting out of the comfort zone to start the change process and then implement the change itself.
The more they need of change is pushing, the more urgent it is, the more we motivate to make the change happen.
So, Mr. Lewin presents the basis for unfreezing and motivate yourself that is Force Field Analysis.
It is a powerful strategic tool with the help of which we can decide what is essential for change on the personal and corporate levels of decision-making.
It is about decisions that are ‘pros’ and ‘con’s’ and about setting their weight. By listing these factors (forces), we know which factors are for and which are against the change.
So, If the factors for change prevail, we should make the change. If not, there is a low motivation for the change, and we should not start the change process.
Moreover, this Unfreezing stage involves moving individuals, departments, or the whole companies and businesses towards the change.
The Force Field Analysis has seen in Fig. Shows that the change is in equilibrium between forces that drive the change and those that resist the change.
It is ‘quasi-stationary social equilibrium’. For change occurrence, the equilibrium is suspended by increasing driving forces.
The successful change is achieved when the driving forces are strengthened, or restraining forces are weakened.
Furthermore, This analysis is mainly used to differentiate between the factors that drive a person towards (within the organization/situation) or away from the intended state and the factors that resist it.
The Three Main Activities In The Unfreeze Stage
Lewin sees three activities in this ‘unfreeze’ stage:
- Clearly define the current situation. The more collaborative this process can be, the more effective it is. This is both because people will be more committed to a picture they have defined and because the involvement of more people will make it a more vibrant, fuller picture.
- Create a vision of the desired end state. The richer, fuller, and more attractive this can be, the more people who contribute – the better.
- So, Identify the forces that will help drive and resist the change, increasing the driving forces identified and decreasing the resisting forces. Once again, this is best carries out by a group of those leading and affects by the change.
The second stage is Change and is dedicated to the change process – to transition.
The transition is an internal movement that an individual or a company makes in reaction to the change. It occurs when a company or an individual decides on making a change.
An essential part of this stage is the support in the form of coaching, training, and expecting mistakes, which are an inherent part of the process.
The core thing is the development of the company’s solutions, using role models, clearly communicating the design of the desired change.
It also includes benefits for implementing the change and who is responsible for the whole process.
The last stage of Lewin’s Change Model is Freezing (or Refreezing).
This concept is about reinforcing the change and also about maintaining the accepted change into the future. Without this freezing part, people tend to go back and keep doing what they used to do before the change.
That is what Lewin saw as a freezing stage – the support of the desired change to ensure that the change process continues and is not lost. People highly criticize Lewin’s theory for being too simplistic, especially the third stage.
Nowadays, we know that the change process cannot be rigid but has to be exactly the opposite, i.e., flexible. High flexibility is necessary to make the change happen.
This stage is, in fact, the integration of the new values, visions, and processes into the community (of individuals or an organization), but also a new tradition.
So, The main purpose of the refreezing stage is to stabilize and ensure the new equilibrium, which is the result of the change.
You should do it by balancing both the driving and restraining forces (from Force Field Analysis). (Connelly, 2016)
Force Field Analysis
Force field analysis is a very useful tool when considering the case for change.
Kurt Lewin’s ‘force field analysis’ mentions as part of a process of planned change. It is also highly relevant for an organization to engage in a more fluid ‘emergent change’ process.
In this context, it is helpful to involve as wide a range of constituencies as possible, whether or not they are formally defined as stakeholders.
Moreover, the technique encourages those involved to identify all the forces that hold the organization in its current position.
It includes powerful cultural, social, and behavioral forces in such an analysis.
As a result, all can identify how their own actions, behaviours, and interactions with others can be uses by us to weaken opposing forces.
And to strengthen the forces driving in the desired direction.
‘An issue is held in balance by the interaction of two opposing sets of forces: those seeking to promote change (driving forces) and those attempting to maintain the status quo (restraining or resisting forces).’
Moreover, in many human situations, Lewin observed an increase in one force (to promote change) creates a reaction in other forces, seeking to maintain the current equilibrium.
He used the term ‘homeostasis’ for this tendency of systems to maintain their current state.
Lewin developed the use of a diagram in which the ‘current state’ (down the middle of the picture) is being maintained by a range of driving and restraining (resisting) forces.
As this diagram is drawn, a desired ‘end state’ of a change process is to the right of the picture, with all the driving forces pushing that way currently balanced by restraining forces.
If an organization desires to make change more quickly. Then either the driving forces need to be augmented, or the restraining troops decreased.
Ideally, both of these must happen. This could, for example. Involve highlighting the benefits of making a particular change (augmenting the driving force). While at the same time addressing staff concerns about the new processes (reducing the resisting force).
Steps of Force Field Analysis
Follow these steps to create a force field diagram in a group setting:
- On a flipchart or whiteboard, briefly describe the current situation requiring change.
- Briefly state the desired end state (the target for a change).
List the driving and resisting forces at work in your change situation.
- Write one per ‘sticky note’.
- Place the sticky notes on either side of the ‘current state’ as appropriate.
- Discuss the results and share ideas and thoughts about how to augment the driving forces and reduce the resisting forces.
- Capture the results and use them to inform the change process and priorities for change.
It is advisable to collaboratively create a force field diagram with key stakeholders to ensure a variety of viewpoints and perspectives.
So, Use different sizes/lengths of arrows or assign a number to each arrow to indicate its strength to drive or restrain the change.
In this article Kurt Lewin’s ‘force field analysis’ is mentioned as part of a process of planned change.
It is also highly relevant for an organization engaged in a more fluid ‘emergent change’ process.
This technique encourages those involved to identify all the forces that hold the organization in its current position.
Kurt Lewin’s ‘force field analysis’ is mention as part of a process of planned change. It is also highly relevant for an organization that is engaging in a more fluid ‘emergent change’ process.
The main objective of Lewin’s force-field analysis tool is for analyzing driving and resisting forces. Force field analysis is a very useful tool when considering the case for change. It is used for Change analysis.
Follow these steps to create a force field diagram in a group setting:
1. On a flipchart or whiteboard, briefly describe the current situation requiring change.
2. Briefly state the desired end state (the target for a change).
3. List the driving and resisting forces at work in your change situation. Write one per ‘sticky note’.
4. Place the sticky notes on either side of the ‘current state’ as appropriate.
5. Discuss the results and share ideas and thoughts about how to augment the driving forces and reduce the resisting forces.
6. Capture the results and use them to inform the change process and priorities for change.
Lewin’s force-field analysis tool for analyzing driving and resisting forces. We use this tool for change analysis.
The second best-known change model is Lewin’s Three-Stage Model of Change, presented in 1947. Mr. Kurt Lewin was an American social psychologist of German origin. His research focuses on factors that influence people to change, and he determined this change model which contains three stages: