Listed below are a few popular models the change leader or manager can use when implementing a change. Each model walks through a variety of ‘phases’ or ‘stages’ that need to be completed in order for the change to be successfully realized.
University of Waterloo Change Management
1. Think and Plan
A time where the change is conceptualized, and information is gathered to inform the steps that need to be taken to implement the change. This may include conducting interviews, defining the characteristics of the change (size, incremental or radical) to inform the change strategy; selecting the change team; and identifying roles and responsibilities; defining impacted stakeholder groups and undertaking a preliminary assessment of the impact the change will have on these groups. Collaboration and innovation are key to this phase.
2. Inform, motivate and train
A period of time to engage individuals impacted by the change, foster existing partnerships, or create new ones. A time to also understand potential barriers, assess and manage resistance to the commitment of the change. In this phase create and roll out communication and/or training plans.
A time to implement and sustain the change, adjust approaches to reinforce change adoption, celebrate success and recognize contributions. Activities should include frequent check-ins, engaging stakeholders to solicit feedback and, if applicable, address additional training needs. This is also a time where collection of data to inform adoption success rates will be valuable. Reflecting back on all activities undertaken and assessing success of these activities is also important and will help to inform planning for future change initiatives.
Ambrose Model of Change
The Ambrose model of change emphasizes the emotional response to a change activity.
The key takeaway is that, as leaders of change, it is important we understand and prepare for an individual’s emotional and unique response to the change.
The Ambrose model focuses on 5 elements: vision, skills, incentive, resource and action plan. When all 5 elements are present change efforts are more successful and we are most likely to achieve the desired outcome. The model further demonstrates that when elements are absent, an emotional response is observed. For example: in the absence of a clear vision and understanding of why the change is need, the likely emotional response observed will be confusion.
Kotter 8 Step Change Model
The Kotter 8-step process for leading change was developed by Dr. Kotter. Described in his book: “Our Iceberg is Melting” (Kotter, John P. (2006), p 130) the eight-step process of successful change is broken down into 4 distinct phases are:
Set the stage
- Create a sense of urgency
- Pull together the guiding team
Decide what to do
- Develop the change vision and strategy
Make it Happen
- Communicate for understanding buy-in
- Empower others to act
- Produce short-term wins
- Don’t let up
Make it stick
- Create a new culture
The Lewin's model divides the change process into three stages: Unfreeze -> Make changes -> Refreeze. The model, while simple, helps to define the activities the change leader can complete to support and move individuals through the change.
- The first stage ‘Unfreeze’ relies on the change leader assessing the current state. This will require collaboration and engagement by existing stakeholders. During this stage, the change leader can analyze and identify opportunities for improvement. Through engagement and collaboration, individuals will be more committed to the change and can create a vision of the desired end state. During this stage, the change leader and change team can also identify change champions and possible resistors.
- The second stage ‘Make changes’ is an opportunity to move individuals through the change. In this stage the change plan is created and deployed.
- The third and final stage ‘Refreeze’ is when new work practices become new work habits, when the change becomes the new norm. During this stage change leaders may look to reward adopters and address non-adopters