This change management model was created in the 1950s by psychologist Kurt Lewin. Lewin noted that the majority of people tend to prefer and operate within certain zones of safety. He recognised three stages of change:
Unfreeze – most people make a conscious effort to resist change. In order to overcome this tendency, a period of thawing or unfreezing must be initiated through motivation;
Transition – once change is initiated, the company moves into a transition period, which may last for some time. Adequate leadership and reassurance are necessary for the process to be successful;
Refreeze – after change has been accepted and successfully implemented, the company becomes stable again, and the staff refreeze as they operate under the new guidelines. While this change management model remains widely used today, it takes time to implement. Since it is easy to use, most companies tend to prefer this model to enact major changes.