Lewin’s 3-Step Model of Organisational Change

Kurt Lewin’s model of organisational change is well known and much quoted by managers today. 

He introduced force fields analysis, which examines the driving forces and the resisting forces in any change situation. 

The driving forces for change must always outweigh the resisting forces in any situation if change is to happen. 

He also described his famous 3-step process of organisational change which are:

  • unfreezing

  • moving to a new state (change)

  • refreezing

The first step, unfreezing, involves unfreezing or loosening up the current state of affairs. It means identifying the current state, the driving and resisting forces and defining the future state.

The second step is about moving to a new state through participation and involvement.

The third step, refreezing, involves stabilising the new state of affairs by rewarding and celebrating success and establishing the new standards.

Lewin’s ideas and tools are very useful when considering organisational change.

Using force field analysis a team can quickly surface driving and resisting forces, and when they look at the current state versus the desired state, the team can quickly move to agree the actions necessary to change to the desired future state.

Source: Making Sense of Change, Esther Cameron & Mike Green

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