Change Management People Response Models

Posted by Mark on Friday, March 5, 2021

Understanding Response to Change

When presented with significant change, people go though cycles of responses to the change. People move through the cycles at differing rates and can also take a step backwards. The backwards step sometimes occurs when new information about the change is learnt. Equally with more new information about the change people can move through the cycle more rapidly.

Response to change is emotional, over time acceptance and rational or logical thinking may lead to acceptance of the change.

Loss is nothing else but change, and change is Nature’s delight.

-Marcus Aurelius

Kubler-Ross 5 Stage Model or change curve

Kubler-Ross propose the following steps or stages of an individuals response to change over time. This is also sometimes referred to as the grief-cycle.

  1. Denial: We don’t need to change!
  2. Anger: After all these years, I hear I have to change! It makes me angry! They don’t understand what we do!
  3. Depression: The change is inevitable. I am sad that everything will be different now and I feel insecure and a little frightened.
  4. Bargaining: Can’t we keep just this or that thing the same as it was before? now is a bad time, can we delay?
  5. Acceptance: “I will try this change, and I will do my best to make it work.”

Lewin’s Change Management Model

Lewin proposes 3 stages to Change Management

  1. Unfreeze: A block of ice has a fixed shape. Just as you would melt ice if you wanted to form it into a new shape, so you need to “unfreeze” people’s mindsets out of the old way of doing things. Again, it comes down to recognizing the need and being willing to try something new.

  2. Change: Now that people are ready to change, you can begin with implementation. But there will be pressures and unforeseen difficulties. Now is the time when your people need lots of support to help them get the change right.

  3. Freeze: The hectic implementation phase is over. You have made any necessary adjustments to your plans, and you are ready to finalize the new “shape” of your business. The “new” way of doing things is now the way they will always be done.