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Lewin’s Change Management Model Best Practices

Lewin’s Change Management Model is a framework that describes that the reason for change must be fully understood by employees before any change can actually occur. This is because individuals will be more motivated to enact a change when they are aware of why it is necessary. Lewin’s Change Management Model lays out three steps – Unfreeze, Change and Refreeze – which help to ensure that a change will be maintained in the future.

More about Lewin’s Change Management Model

Description of Lewin’s Change Management Model

Lewin’s Change Management Model encompasses three steps:


Step 1: Unfreeze – In order to spread awareness about the necessity of change, it is advisable to first develop a thorough understanding of the way the organization is currently run and what systems are already in place. This can be done through the use of surveys or interviews, especially with senior management. With this understanding, it becomes easier to pinpoint what systems are no longer functional and what methods are not efficient. In other words, it is easier to explain why change needs to occur. Further, to develop the strongest case for change, connect the inefficient systems to core organizational beliefs, attitudes and values. Specifically, challenging these fundamental aspects of the organization will help to prolong the change once it is present. This stage is where your team might encounter the most resistance and discomfort from other employees. However, if properly handled and factually rebutted (i.e., allow employees to voice their concerns, but rebuke them with objective evidence for the change demand), this opposition can be utilized to create the motivation for change. Ultimately, the goal should be to obtain support from the entire organization. However, having the support of senior management is essential.


Step 2: Change – In this stage, your team should begin to develop alternative ways of completing organizational tasks or carrying out organizational functions. Although this process takes time, it is possible to hasten the process slightly by clearly communicating how these new processes benefit employees, especially those who are most concerned with the change. It is advisable to take a hands-on approach to change management in this phase. Specifically, explain to all employees how the change will affect them, train employees on new systems so they feel prepared, eliminate any rumors, connect all changes to competitive advantage, give employees opportunities to be involved, or put reward systems in place as a reinforcement method.


Step 3: Refreeze – After the changes have become internalized within the company, the organization should adapt these new processes as the status quo until the need for change presents itself again. More specifically, all daily operations should reflect the new change. For example, a “refrozen” organization should have job descriptions, or organizational charts that are all consistent with the new change. This stage will help to solidify the change into the minds of all employees so that they are completely engaged in this new way of working. Additionally, to mark the end of the change process, reward employees for their cooperation and celebrate the new phase you are entering into.

Praxie's Online Lewin’s Change Management Model Tools & Templates

Lewin’s Change Management Model typically acts as a standalone framework or process to enact and handle change. Other supporting approaches used with the model include stakeholder analysis, sponsorship analysis and other related change tools. Praxie’s Lewin’s Change Management Model online collaboration tools allow any team or organization to instantly begin working with our web templates and input forms. Get started with our Lewin’s Change Management Model template. 

How to use it: 

  1. Review the model and reflect on the different states. 
  2. Describe each state of change to help identify issues and strategies for your change management program. 
  3. Create an action plan based on the specific objectives of your change process and goals.