Kurt Lewin developed a 3-step change model is commonly referred to as Unfreeze, Change, Freeze. The model represents a very simple and practical model for understanding the change process. The world has changed since the theory was originally presented in 1947, but the Kurt Lewin model is still extremely relevant. Many other modern change models are based on the 3-stage Lewin model such as the ADKAR Model.

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The 3-stage process of Lewin’s change model entails:

  1. Unfreezing Stage: Create the perception that a change is needed
    • Recognizing the need for change
    • Encouraging the replacement of old behaviors and attributes with new behaviors
  2. Changing Stage: Move toward the new, desired level of behavior
    • Implement change by taking specific action
    • Help employees to learn a new concept or point of view
    • Role models, mentors, experts, benchmarking results and training are useful mechanisms to facilitate change
  3. Refreezing Stage: Solidify new behavior as the norm.
    • Changes are reinforced and stabilized
    • Leaders integrate the changed behavior or attribute into the normal way of doing things.
    • Coach helps reinforce the stability of change

Kurt Lewin’s Change model is still widely used and serves as the basis for many modern change models.

Lewin's change model template

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Lewins 3-stage change model template

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Lewin's model of change template

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