Unfreezing – Changing – Refreezing” model for change In todays global environment, in particular the online business environment, change is critical for success and progress. When a company faces the challenge of change, it needs to analyse which areas it can do without and which are important for its future progress. Kurt Lewin has proposed three stage change model which shall be applied in this case (Robbins, Coulter & Langton 2009). Unfreezing - Employees needs to be briefed of what is about to happen. - They should be given the opportunities to participate and brainstorm change activities to achieve organisational goals. - Explain to them why some products, including core product lines, shall have to be removed from the current ones. - Provide them guidelines how the company will go about the unfreezing process, and how they need to contribute to the change movement.
- Present them new products so they can be excited about their launch, marketing and sales. Changing - Develop new product line to replace old one. - Allow employees to come up with product line and features to be integrated into the new organisational production line.
- Establish policies and standard operating procedures for new product lines including sales lead, sales, feedback, after sales support. - Plan to review new product lines, and acquire feedback from employees on how they have received the new product line. - Appreciate positive and negative feedback so employees do not feel left out in change process. Refreezing - Once the product is established, allow employees to come up with new ideas for product line extension or complementary products. - Establish policies for the new organisational offering and how employees need to comply with them. - Communicate gently but firmly, that those who do not comply with policies shall have to find another job. - Develop new communication network, channels and structure for employees to give feedback or discuss issues that hinder them from launching new products.
- Reward employees who succeed and perform extremely well in this new environment. It must be noted that these stages take time and a timeframe should be set for their achievements. Once the process is complete regular review for compliance and to meet new challenges should be carried out.
This would enable employees to communicate their discovery in the market, and management to see the extent of change. However, it must be noted that change is always challenging and threatening to the organisation and therefore care must be taken in dealing with the resistant forces (HBR 2007). On the other hand, change is about progress and the main objective of the change exercise in this case is to create a new product range for a new market. Employees must be made aware that the organisation is not changing them but merely the products they offer and the way of working - hence the necessity to adapt to a new culture.
References HBR (2007) Managing Change. Fifty Lessons Limited. Robbins, S., Coulter, M. & Langton, N. (2009) Management. 9th Canadian Ed. Toronto, Pearson Prentice-Hall