Change Management Models
There are many different change management models. We will be discussing three today and choosing which is the best fit a company needing many changes. I will be discussing both the strengths and weaknesses of these three change management models: McKinsey 7-S Model, Lewin’s Change Management Model, and Kotter’s Eight Step Change Model. There are many differences to each of these models that can be seen once we discuss them further. There are also many similarities between the three models. Only one of these models can be considered as a best fit for a company needing a large amount of change. Therefore it is imperative that we have a thorough understanding of each of the three change management models presented here today.
The McKinsey 7-S Model was created by Tom Peters and Robert Waterman while they were working for McKinsey & Company, and by Richard Pascale and Anthony Athos at a meeting in 1978 (12Manage, 2007). The McKinsey 7-S model is a holistic approach to company organization, which collectively determines how the company will operate (12Manage, 2007). There are seven different factors that are a part of the model: shared values, strategy, structure, systems, style, staff, and skills, which all work collectively to form the model (12Manage, 2007).
Shared values are the center of the model because it is what the organization believes in and stands for, such as the mission of the company (12Manage, 2007). Strategy represents what the company plans to do react to any changes of its external surroundings (Recklies, 2007). The structure refers to the organizational structure of the company (12Manage, 2007). Systems are the portion of the model that represents “the procedures, processes and routines that characterize how the work should be done” (12Manage, 2007). Staff is quite obvious in the fact that it is a proper representation of who is employed by the organization and what they do within the organization (12Manage, 2007). Style signifies the organizational culture and management styles that are utilized within the organization (12Manage, 2007). Skills indicate the abilities and competencies of either the employees or the organization holistically (12Manage, 2007).
There are many benefits and disadvantages of the McKinsey Model. There are four main benefits of the McKinsey 7-S Model: It is an effective way to diagnose and understand the organization; it is a guide for organizational change; it is a combination of both rational and emotional constituents; and all parts are interrelated, so all portions must be addressed and focused on (12Manage, 2007). One major disadvantage is that when one of the parts is changed, all parts change because they are all interrelated (12Manage, 2007). Another major disadvantage is that this model ignores differences (Morgan, n.d.). After five years many of the companies that used this model fell from the top (Morgan, n.d.).
Lewin’s Change Management Model was created in the 1950s by a psychologist named Kurt Lewin (Mind Tools, 2007; Syque, 2007). Lewin recognized three stages of change, which are still widely used today: unfreeze, transition, and refreeze (Syque, 2007). The majority of people tends to stay within certain safe zones and is hesitant of change (Syque, 2007). These people tend to become comfortable in this unchanging environment and become uncomfortable when any change occurs, even if it is a minor one (Syque, 2007). In order to overcome this frozen state, we must initiate an unfreeze period, which is done through motivation (Mind Tools, 2007). Motivation is important in any organization, even when it is not changing. The transition period is when the change is occurring, which is a voyage and not a step (Syque, 2007). The transition period takes time because people do not like change (Syque, 2007). This is when leadership is critical for the change process to work. Another important part of this stage is the reassurance that this is good for the company as well as the employees. At the end of the transitional voyage, comes the next stage: refreeze (Syque, 2007). This is the stage where the company once again becomes stable (Syque, 2007).
As with the previous model there are many disadvantages and benefits of Lewin’s Change Management Model. Benefits include: that this is a simple and easily understood model for change; the model is done through steps; this is an efficient model that is used today (Mind Tools, 2007; Syque, 2007).
The main disadvantage of this model is that it is timely, but you must consider that it is timely for any change to take place. Another disadvantage is that at the refreezing period, many people are worried that another change is coming, so they are in change shock (Syque, 2007). This change shock causes employees to not be as efficient or effective in their jobs (Syque, 2007).
The third model is the Kotter’s Eight Step Change Model. There are eight steps in this model. Step One: Increase urgency for change (Chapman, 2006). Step Two: Build a team for the change (Chapman, 2006). Step Three: Construct the vision(Chapman, 2006). Step Four: Communicate(Chapman, 2006). Step Five: Empower (Chapman, 2006). Step Six: Create short term goals (Chapman, 2006). Step Seven: Be persistent (Chapman, 2006). Step Eight: Make the change permanent (Chapman, 2006). The first step is to create urgency for change. This means that we have to convince the employees that this change is necessary for the company to survive (Rose, 2002). This also means that we must communicate that the change is achievable without any detrimental effects on their jobs. The next step is to build a team for the change, which has to be of some respected employees within the company (Rose, 2002). The third step is to construct the vision, which will show clear direction to how the change will better the future of the company and their jobs (Rose, 2002). The fourth step is to communicate this vision. In order for the vision to work it must be fully understand by the employees, which means that it is necessary for the leaders of the change group to follow this vision (Rose, 2002). The fifth step it to empower the employees to execute the change. It is still important that the management follow the same guidelines as the employees are too (Rose, 2002). By creating short term goals, we assist the employees to accept the change by showing them progress (Rose, 2002). Rewards are very important at this step also (Rose, 2002). The seventh step is about persistence because we should influence more change even after the short term goals are met or the original plan for change will cease and die (Rose, 2002). The final step is to make the change permanent by moving fitting it into the company’s culture and practices, such as promotion (Chapman, 2006).
As with the two aforementioned change models, Kotter’s Eight Step Change Model has many disadvantages and benefits. One advantage is that this is a step by step model, which is easy to follow. Another is that it does not focus on the change itself, but rather the acceptance and preparedness for this change, which makes it an easier transition. One disadvantage is that you cannot skip any steps or the change process will completely fail. As with the other two models, change still takes time with this one too.
In my opinion the best choice for CF&F Tech Division is Kotter’s Eight Step Change Model. I think that this is the best choice because it is a simple model. I also feel this way because it fully prepares the employees of the company before the vision is even created, which means that the actual transition will be much easier in the long run. There are fewer disadvantages to this model than others. Overall it is the best fit for most companies because substantial change is needed for the divisions because it’s history. This will also help ease the transition because the division has quite a history compared to the rest of the company, so people are not as set in the ways, as they would be if the division had been around longer.
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Chapman, A. (2006). Change management. Retrieved April 12, 2007, from Business Balls Web site: http://www.businessballs.com/changemanagement.htm
Mind Tools. (2007). Lewin’s change management model: Understanding the three stages of change. Retrieved April 12, 2007, from Mind Tools Web site: http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newPPM_94.htm
Morgan, O. (n.d.). Organization management part 1. Retrieved April 12, 2007, from Oliver Morgan Web site: http://www.omorgan.info/download/Part%20I/organisation_management_Part_I.pdf
Recklies, D. (2007, March 18). The 7-s-model. Retrieved April 12, 2007, from Recklies Management Web site: http://www.themanager.org/Models/7S%20Model.htm
Rose, K.H. (2002, February). Leading change: A model by john kotter. Retrieved April 12, 2007, from Business Source Elite.
Syque. (2007). Lewin’s freeze phases. Retrieved April 12, 2007, from Changing Minds Website: http://changingminds.org/disciplines/change_management/lewin_change/lewin_change.htm