Change Management WalkMe TeamUpdated March 25, 2021

Need to Make a Transition? 5 Proven Models for Change

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Need to Make a Transition? 5 Proven Models for Change

Is your business prepared for its next transition? Implementing the right model for change can mean the difference between success and failure in change management.

Choose the right model and you can increase employee acceptance, change requires planning, and ensure that changes stick.

Choose the wrong model, though, and you’ll be fighting an uphill battle…

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Employees will fight change instead of embracing it. People may drift back to old ways of doing things. Motivation will be low.

For these reasons, it’s essential to choose the right change requires planning.

Let’s look at some of the most popular models, how they work, and what benefits they offer.

Why Use a Model for Change?

Models for change provide a structure that you can follow when planning and implementing change.

As mentioned, choosing the wrong model can carry a host of problems — including failure.

Choose the right model, however, and you will see a number of benefits, such as:

  • Reduced employee resistance and improved motivation
  • Increased productivity
  • Faster transition and rollout
  • Decreased interruptions to businesses
  • Increased rates of success

Clearly, investing in the right model has its perks.

So let’s take a look at some of the most popular models “on the market.”

The Top Models for Change

Here are 5 of the most popular models for change:

1. The ADKAR Model

The ADKAR Model is a model for organizational change that starts with the individual.

By changing one person at a time, the model reduces friction, increases success rates, and boosts productivity.

The letters in the acronym stand for:

  • Awareness
  • Desire
  • Knowledge
  • Action
  • Reinforcement

With these elements in place, successful transition is more likely to be supported.

2. The ITIL Change Management Process

The change requires planning process is a set of best practices designed for changes in IT services.

These best practices act as a framework to streamline change, reduce risk, and minimize the impact on business functions.

ITIL change processes revolve around a standard set of processes for:

  • Request
  • Review
  • Approval
  • Implementation

The ITIL framework is detailed, yet flexible enough to be adapted to virtually any organization.

3. Lewin’s Change Management Model

change requires planning may be the simplest.

Its 3-step process involves:

  • Unfreezing the current “frozen” business model, processes, and perceptions.
  • Changing the model through effective communication, education, and implementation.
  • Refreezing the new model, then monitoring it as your business continues forward

The Lewin model has been around for over half a century. Though competitors have taken up some of its market share, it still features prominently in the change management industry.

4. Kotter’s Model

change requires planning focuses on reducing employee resistance to change.

It is an 8-step process:

  1. Create Urgency
  2. Form a “Change Coalition”
  3. Form a Vision for Change
  4. Enlist a Volunteer Army
  5. Remove Barriers
  6. Generate Short-Term Wins
  7. Sustain Acceleration
  8. Institute the Changes

This model was developed as an alternative to the Lewin model. It is useful because it can help companies reduce friction and employee resistance.

5. The McKinsey 7-S Model

The McKinsey 7-S model helps transitions succeed be ensuring that 7 core elements of your business are aligned properly. It is not so much a structured approach to change as it is a way to understand an organization and its problems.

The “7-S” portion of the name is broken into hard and soft business elements.

The hard elements are:

  • Strategy
  • Structure
  • Systems

The soft elements are:

  • Shared Values
  • Skills
  • Style
  • Staff

Each set of elements should be researched and examined carefully.

Wherever these elements are not in alignment, you will find parts of your organization that need change.

Which Model Should You Choose?

Choosing the right change requires planning for success is critical, and your change model is perhaps the most essential tool of all.

Naturally, the choice of business model depends on your business, the type of change, and your goals.

Here are a few things to consider:

  • What type of change is your business engaged in? A change in IT services would be best served by ITIL, for instance. A structural change that requires organization-wide buy-in would be better served by one of the more people-centric approaches.
  • What are your biggest obstacles? Work with other change leaders to determine your biggest obstacles to success. Will it be employee resistance? Technological adoption? Budget? The model you choose — and how you use that model — should help you tackle those obstacles effectively.
  • How deeply do you understand your problem? A business that knows exactly what change to make will do well with a structured approach. Companies that haven’t yet decided on what change to implement could consider the McKinsey model, since it will offer a deep understanding of the company and its challenges.

These 3 questions should help you get started. Work with your team to better understand your business situation and your needs for change.

Using the McKinsey model — even just for inspiration — can offer an excellent bird’s eye view of your business situation.

Closing Thoughts

Regardless of the size of a business, change requires planning, effort, and care.

These 5 models for change are some of the most popular. Each model has its strengths and weaknesses and there are others out there.

However, this list is certainly enough to get you started as you begin planning your change management process.

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