The Pros and Cons of 4 Common Change Management Models
Managing change is difficult. It involves identifying the need for change, planning for the transition, implementing the changes, and ensuring that the changes are sustained over time. Accepting, embracing and making change becomes easy if you know what you are doing
- Change management is a process that helps organizations navigate through difficult transitions.
- Different models, such as Prosci's ADKAR, McKinsey 7s, Kurt-Lewin 3-Step, and Kotter's 8-Step, have been developed to facilitate the change process.
- Each change scenario is unique and requires a tailored approach, taking into consideration factors such as company culture, size, and industry, as well as the goals and objectives of the change initiative and the current state of the organization.
“In any given moment, we have two options: to step forward into growth or step back into safety.”
— Abraham Maslow
Over the last two decades, we have led mid to large-scale change management programs across different sectors and industries. Organizational change is never easy, and businesses are truly tested during these times.
To navigate through these treacherous times, organizations often turn to change management models. Here are some popular models that facilitate the process.
Prosci’s ADKAR Change Management Framework
The first change management model is the ADKAR model. This model is a bottom-up approach, which starts with the individual and gradually works up to the organizational level.
The ADKAR model is designed to ensure that changes take place in a logical, progressive order. However, the downside of this model is that it can be too slow and cumbersome, leading to a lack of enthusiasm and engagement.
- Achieves successful change outcomes
- Focuses on individual change
- Provides a clear roadmap for change
- Limited flexibility in implementation.
- Focused on change at the individual level.
- Is not fit for every business.
McKinsey 7s Model
McKinsey’s 7s model integrates system, structure, strategy, style, skills, and staff for a successful change initiative. This is a top-down approach, which means that it focuses on the leaders of the organization, and then works its way down to the individual level.
The advantage of the McKinsey model is that it often produces faster results since it does not focus on the more minor details. However, the downside of this model is that it can be too rigid and inflexible.
- A holistic framework for organization analysis.
- Flexible and can be applied to any organization.
- Easy to understand and use
- The model oversimplifies complex issues.
- Does not consider external factors that substantially affect business operations
- Provides a general framework and not an exact roadmap or steps to follow.
Kurt-Lewin 3-Step Change Model
The Kurt Lewin model uses the states of water to illustrate change management. In part, this is because of the way that water can be both solid and immovable and also fluid and malleable. Water can both wear away at mountains over time to shape them, and also have its path changed by force using dams or pipes.
The three phases of the model are Unfreeze, Change, and Freeze/Refreeze. This model is effective in helping organizations move through transition periods. But on the downside, it can be too focused on the end goal and neglect areas that could have been addressed sooner.
- Helps to clearly define and plan change steps.
- Emphasizes employee involvement in change.
- Can be applied to various change efforts.
- The model may not fully consider the complexity and dynamic nature of organizations and change.
- It may not be suitable for organizations in a state of rapid change or crisis.
- It can be difficult to unfreeze the current state and create a sense of urgency for change within the organization.
Kotter’s 8-Step Change Model
This is a top-heavy approach that guides organizations through the change process logically and coherently.
It is an eight-step process that starts with creating a sense of urgency, forming a powerful coalition, creating a vision for change, communicating the vision, empowering others to act on the vision, creating short-term wins, consolidating gains and producing more change, and anchor new approaches in the company's culture.
This helps organizations to stay focused and on track throughout the change initiative, ensuring that all key aspects of the change are addressed and that the organization can achieve its desired outcomes.
- Provides a clear, structured approach that keeps organizations on track.
- Emphasizes strong leadership and effective communication.
- Focuses on creating early wins to build momentum and engagement.
- Limited flexibility and may not adapt to unique situations.
- Too much focused on urgency and fails to provide concrete steps on what to do.
- Limited guidance for maintaining changes over time.
What Is Our Verdict?
UniAspect Digital specializes in using Kotter's change model for our clients. Our team of experts has extensive experience in implementing the model in various industries and has seen its effectiveness in bringing about successful organizational change.
We believe that change models are case specific because each organizational change scenario is unique and requires a tailored approach.
Factors such as company culture, size, and industry can all play a role in determining the most effective change model for a specific situation.
Additionally, the goals and objectives of the change initiative and the organization’s current state will also influence the choice of the change model.
That’s why we analyze the specific needs of our clients and tailor the change model to best fit their unique situations.
Get in touch today to see how UniAspect Digital can help apply the most relevant change management model to your digital transformation and beyond.