In the last New Synergist Insights I presented two of the most popular Change Models used by organizations. In this month’s Insights, I will compare these two models and discuss their strengths and weaknesses.

Lewin’s Change Management Model:

Kurt Lewin, a psychologist, created his change management model more than sixty years ago. Lewin noted that the majority of people tend to prefer and operate within certain zones of safety. He formulated three phases that need to occur in order to facilitate the change process.

Kotter’s Eight-Step Change Model:

This model, created by Harvard University Professor John Kotter, causes change to become a campaign. Employees buy into the change after leaders convince them of the urgent need for change to occur. There are eight steps are involved in this model.

Advantages to the Kotter Model:

The strength of this model is that it concentrates on all aspects for the change to happen in an organization. This model, used effectively will change the culture of your organization. Culture is arguably the most difficult aspect organizational and this model supports cultural change. The model requires the leadership team to have a significant level of understanding of the change process.

Advantages of the Lewin Model:

The Lewin Model is simple and easy to understand. The focus of the model is to reduce fear and resistance of employees in order to facilitate support for the proposed change(s).

Both models focus on overcoming resistance in order to gain the support of employees and other stakeholders. A change process of any significance requires buy-in by employees and other stakeholders. Most significant change efforts fail (more than 70% according to Kotter International). Poor planning, lack of leadership vision, and employee trust are significant contributors to these failures.

In the October issue of INSIGHTS I will highlight some of the reasons organizations need to continually change if they want to remain competitive.