Who created the change management process?

Lewin's change management model is named after its creator, Kurt Lewin, who developed it in the 1950s. Analyze how things work now to understand precisely what needs to change to get the expected results. As a social psychologist, Lewin introduced three states of change: defrosting, moving, and refreezing, as well as force field analysis. First, a team or organization must “unfreeze” its current processes and perceptions when preparing for future changes.

This step helps the team approach the task or challenge with a clean slate, without prejudice or bad habits. Change management is the process that companies and organizations use to implement change by creating and implementing effective change strategies. It includes reviewing the reasons for the change, implementing changes, and helping people adapt to these changes. This could consist of staff structure, the introduction of new technologies, the reduction of costs, the increase in profits, or a combination of these factors to achieve the desired objective.

And while there's no right or wrong way to mitigate change, organizations turn to a few proven change management models that they turn to time and time again. It is an important part of the process, since it ensures that the change manager supports staff with any questions and manages resistance by communicating the process and getting employees to accept it. Choose a change management model that works as a compass that guides you to the “true north” or the desired outcome, and the path to successful adoption of change will be much easier to walk. The first three (strategy, structure, and systems) are considered the “hard elements”, meaning that they are easier to identify and can be easily influenced by management.

The change management team draws up plans to consider potential problems and helps everyone understand their role in managing processes at each level. Organizations began to create specific jobs with the sole objective of applying change management to projects and initiatives (with significant growth since the 1920s). Use this model when you have strong support from senior management and need to make changes across your organization or team. Beckhard was a pioneer in organizational development and defined the discipline as “an effort (planned (throughout the organization) and (managed) from above to (increase) the effectiveness and health of the organization through (planned) interventions in the 'processes' of the organization, using knowledge from the behavioral sciences.

Over the past quarter of a century, change management has emerged, evolved and grown, moving from being a fundamental understanding to a conceptual basis and eventually becoming a recognized discipline. During this time, professional associations, standards, and certifications emerged (such as the Institute for Change Management and the Association of Change Management Professionals). Decades of research show the importance of leadership, management, and front-line partners in times of change. Developed in the 1940s, Lewin's change management model is still relevant because of its simple but effective structure.

Change management models prepare you for resistance to change and guide you and your employees toward successful implementation of change. So what comes next? The past two decades have been characterized by a meteoric rise in knowledge, understanding, application, and coding of the discipline of change management. The language began to form around the discipline of change management, and many of the guiding principles that still guide the discipline were articulated during this time. Find out what the change management process is, who benefits from it, and the types of change management roles, salaries, and certifications.

Tina Roth
Tina Roth

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