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Change management model – Kurt Lewin - with infographic

By Simon Buehring on 20 Mar 2020

Change management model – Kurt Lewin - with infographic


Lewin’s model is a simple one. You can use it on change projects which have both small and large groups of stakeholders. You can learn about his and many other useful models in a Change Management course.

Break down mindsets

For change to happen, he says you need to break down collective mindsets. He suggests using a process consisting of 3 stages:

  • An unfreeze stage;
  • A change stage;
  • A refreeze stage.

Unfreeze stage

In this stage you attempt to break down the current mindsets and habits of the organisation. It is done using 3 activities:

Defining the current situation

In this activity you get the people involved in the change to describe the current situation. The final input will help define the existing state. For example, they all agree in the end that the weather outside is cold and gloomy.

Creating a vision

You will find that the more that people get involved in drawing the desired state, the more they will be committed to it. For example, they all agree that they want the weather to be warm and sunny.

Identifying the forces

Here, you can use a technique called ‘Force Field Analysis’ to identify:

  • Forces that will help change – you will need to try to increase these forces;
  • Forces that will resist change - you will need to try to increase these forces.

Change stage

After the unfreeze stage, you can now start to implement the change. This requires you to develop a plan.

Identifying a role model for people to focus on in this stage can be useful because it will keep them motivated and more committed to the plan. You can suggest staff seek advice from change agents who can encourage them through the changes.

Refreeze stage

Over time, the staff become used to the changes. They become habits instead of new practices because they have become embedded into their day to day working practices.

Here, you can reward those who made the extra efforts to embrace the change in order to encouraged further changes.

Other change management models

If you’re interested to find out more about other change management models here you can read and view infographics for Peter Senge or John Kotter.


Change management model: Kurt Lewin.

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