July 17, 2023

Kurt Lewin’s model of change

3 glasses with a strawberry ice lolly each and strawberries in front on a table

You deliver a training course because your sponsor wants change.

For change to happen, people need to let go of old habits and structures. This can be difficult – change leads to a disruption of stable situations.

To avoid this uncertainty, people prefer to keep the old situation, with its safety and predictability. In effect, the status quo is frozen in place.

Kurt Lewin developed a model of change that has three phases:

Unfreeze > Change > Refreeze

Consider what needs to be unfrozen before trainees are able to transfer their learning and implement new behaviours at work.

What is the glue that is holding together the current behaviours?

Look a little deeper: is there a permafrost that a surface unfreeze will not change and that will re-assert itself come winter?

Assuming you have achieved the desired change, how can you freeze it in place so it becomes the new normal?

My best wishes, Paul

Paul Matthews

CEO and Founder of People Alchemy

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