Discussion 3 – Phases of Planned Change:

Discussion 3 – Phases of Planned Change:

One approach to implementing change in an organization was developed by a psychologist named Kurt Lewin. His approach consists of three simple steps:

1)      Unfreezing:

-          This is the first phase in implementing change. It consists of creating a strong enough desire for changing the old, unwanted culture or behaviors. If the “pain” of doing the same unwanted behaviors is not strong enough, there will be no desire felt within the organization to change. In my experience, organization behavior evolves as a result of what is felt to get the perceived job done, while expending the least amount of perceived effort to do it. Many times these methods are not optimal and actually work against other goals and objectives. The change agents need to make a strongly felt reason to change. Some examples might be the threat of closure due to more efficient competitors, or better products that serve a need better.    

2)      Changing:

-          This second phase is where the new culture, behaviors, way to do things is put in place. It is important that any infrastructure needed to support the new change be thought out and in place. If this does not happen, the organization will resist the new change and will either fall back to the old way or even a hybrid of the old and new ways that may be worse for the organization. Many organizations do not do a good job at implementing new initiatives and the employees become resistant to any and all new initiatives. This “start/ stop” can make employees feel that the latest change will come and go as well, thus will not be supported. This phase may require training in the new methods, new equipment, resources, etc… It is important that these be met. 

3)      Refreezing:

-          The third phase in the three step approach of Lewin is the Refreezing phase. This is the phase where the new changes, behaviors, etc…  are made to be the new daily norms of the organization. I have this referred to as “standardize” in the quality assurance field and this is where you make the new behaviors part of the “standard’ method of operating. Some effective methods of doing this are by linking rewards to the new behaviors. I have experienced companies that tie these types of things into regular reviews as well reinforcing it there as well. 

4)      Organization change:

-          Organizational change can be one of the toughest tasks that leadership can face. People are resistant to change by nature unless the need to change is strong enough. At times, company management may have to create a situation (real or perceived by the workforce) to start the process.

To  improvement!

Mark  

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About markqualitynetzel

Quality Management professional with over 20 years experience in manufacturing (metal stamping, assembly) and training.

Posted on March 10, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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