Change management helps, and enables the employees in the acceptance of a change in order to realize the objectives of the business (By, 2005). It serve as a bridge between the results and the solutions, and it is mainly about people, and the collective action and role they perform in order to bring the change and fruitful outcome for the organization. Change management is necessary due to the reason that it leverages the daily organization’s mechanisms for developing and influencing the employees through various activities such as training, better leadership and communication (Burnes, 2004). Further, change management facilitates action of every employee at an individual level via resistance and coaching management.
The change managers are, however, not only the team members of projects, but they enable an individual to undergo transition from the current lower status to the upper status in the future. In this paper, Lewin’s change management model and Lewin & Schein: Change Theory is critically analyzed. The strengths and weaknesses of both are analyzed in order to understand the role of the leader in the change initiative, the overcoming of the change resistance and the communication process as mentioned by these models.
Lewin has recognized three stages for explaining the change in the organization. These three stages are unfreeze, transition and refreeze (Nelson & Quick, 2007). They are still used today. Most of the people want to stay safe; they want to acquire a safer zone, and are reluctant to the change. They feel comfortable in the constant environment that is not undergoing any change, and become uncomfortable in the changing environment. They even become uncomfortable when a small or minor change occurs in the organization. So, for overcoming this state, unfreezing stage or period is introduced that is mostly done by motivation.
The leaders encourage and motivate the employees to accept, and welcome the change as it is beneficial for them as well as for the organization. Motivation is a vital element for the organizational members, it is necessary even when there are no changes occurring in the organization. In order to prepare the organization for the acceptance of change, the leaders start at from the scratch, they have to challenge the values, beliefs, behaviors and attitudes that are presently defining the culture of organization. Lewin has also introduced change communication that should work in order to build urgency sense during the process of unfreezing. Communication should be such that it focuses on assisting, and helping the employees in understanding the need and requirement for change, and providing functional as well as emotional support to the employees at all the levels.
The transition phase is considered as a voyage, and it is not a step. This is because; transition requires time as the people are not ready to accept the change. However, this is true when the leadership is crucial for the change process to accomplish. Further, there is another stage known as reassurance that is linked to the transition voyage. Reassurance is good for both the company and employees. Then refreezing occurs when the organization becomes stable.
There are many advantages and disadvantages associated with the Lewin’s change model. The advantages of the Lewin’s change model are that it overcomes the resistance to change by enabling the employees to plan for implementing the required change. The process is started with the leaders motivating for change in the unfreezing stage, and then moving on through the process of change in order to promote effective communication as well as empowerment of the individuals for embracing new methods and techniques of doing work. The process, however, ends when the leasers and employees have returned the organization to the sense of constancy and stability that is vital for building the confidence for promoting pleasant change for the organization.
The disadvantage of this model is that it is not an easy task to freeze planned alterations and changes in the system. The model has not laid emphasis on the radical and the transformational changes. It has ignored the politics and power prevailing in the organizations. it has considered the top-down approach of management, and has ignored the situations in which bottom-up changes are occurring. Furthermore, this fear of change may create change shock in the employees, which do not let employees to work effectually for the organization.
The Mckinsey 7-S Model is also an important approach that describes about the change management in the organization. It determines the mode of operation of the company by describing seven major elements which are shared values, strategy, structure, systems, style, staff, and skills (Burtonshaw-Gunn, 2009). All of them work together in the form of a model. Shared values are the major aspect and the focal point of the model because they are the shared values on which the organization is standing for and believing in, for example the company’s mission. Shared values are the guiding and supporting themes of the culture of organization, they are the things about which everyone should be aware of because they are essential for the success and survival of the organization. Proper communication should be ensured for making the people aware.
Strategy represents the plans of the company that it makes in order to react with the changes in the external environment. Structure represents company’s organizational structure. Systems of the model symbolize processes, routines and the procedures that illustrate how the task should be accomplished. Such processes and the procedures that also involve several people are essential for identifying the issues, for making appropriate decision and for getting the things done in order to overcome the resistance to change. Systems give powerful tools to the management in order to make the changes in the organization. Staff is an indication of the individuals employed by the company and their roles and duties in the organization.
According to this model, the staff should ensure coordination by redesigning the processes and structures properly, commitment that can be achieved by providing the rewards and incentives to the employees, and development of new competencies, which can be ensured by the organization by providing proper training and coaching to the employees. Style reflects the culture as well as the management styles of the organization that are used within the organization. Skills show competencies and abilities of the employees or the organization. According to this model, the leaders should be able to manage in a way that it leads to the creation of shared perception in order to guide the actions of members according to the common goal and definition of the scenario and situation. Further, the model indicates that the leaders should justify the changes and their actions that they introduce in the organization.
Furthermore, there are several advantages as well as disadvantages of the McKinsey 7-S Model. The advantages of model are that it presents an effectual way in order to understand and diagnose the organization. It serve as a guide for the organizational change, because it is an amalgamation of both the emotional as well as rational constituents, and all the parts are connected with one another, so they should be addressed and focused in a unified manner. The disadvantage associated with this model is that since all the part are interrelated so all of them change if change occur in one part. Another disadvantage is that this is a complex and static model, and it ignores the changes. They companies that are using this model may have to failure in the long run.
In a nutshell, both the models have supported organizational change in their ways. Lewin’s change model has considered that motivation is a major element for the leaders that want to initiate change in the organization, whereas McKinsey 7-S model has considered creation of shared perception by the leaders in order to initiate the change in the organization. Lewin’s has introduced change communication process in order to bring the sense of urgency in the organization, whereas McKinsey has introduced the concept of shared values for ensuring proper communication in the organization. In order to overcome the resistance to change Lewis has encouraged the employees to plan before implementing the change in the organization, whereas McKinsey has introduced the concept of coordinated systems that include committed and devoted people in order to overcome the resistance to change, and encourage healthy change in the organization, that is good for the employees as well as for the entire organization.
Burtonshaw-Gunn, Simon. (2009). The Essential Management Toolbox: Tools, Models and Notes for Managers and Consultants. John Wiley & Sons, New Jersey
Burnes, Bernard. (2004). Managing Change: A Strategic Approach to Organisational Dynamics. Prentice Hall.
Nelson, Debra L., & Quick, James Campbell. (2007). Understanding Organizational Behavior. Thomson/South-Western