Lewin’s 3-Step Change Management Model eLearning
Lewin’s 3-Step Change Management Model2

Change Management eLearning: Understanding Lewin’s Model

Presented in 1947 by Kurt Lewin, Lewin’s Change Management Model remains just as applicable today. This classic framework follows a simple, three-step process for understanding and managing change—thus helping organizations create smoother transitions.

The model equates change to reshaping an ice cube into a cone. Just as the ice must melt or “unfreeze” before it can transform, so too must an organization.

Lewin’s three-step model illustrates how companies reshape the status quo by unfreezing existing conditions, implementing a change, and refreezing operations.

Lewin’s process takes time. Status quo shifts don’t happen overnight. If you’re implementing a major change, time is a necessary sacrifice. However, if you’re working with smaller changes, you’ll want a model that produces quicker results. Lewin’s model is great for large-scale company changes—as long as you’re prepared for the time investment.

  1.  Unfreeze. First, unfreeze the status quo. Define the change, gather leadership support, share a compelling message with employees, and address uncertainties.
  2. Change. Next, implement the change and enter a transition state. Help employees by often communicating, providing support, and celebrating what’s going well. 
  3. Refreeze. Finally, refreeze processes and lock the change into place.  Return to a stable state by documenting official processes, holding a celebration, giving regular reviews, and continuing to offer support.

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