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January 15, 2024, vizologi

What is a Change Management Framework?

Change is always happening in life; the same goes for the business world. Managing change well is essential for companies to stay competitive and flexible. That’s where a change management framework comes in. It offers a structured way to handle and make changes in an organization.

In this article, we’ll look at what a change management framework is and how it can help businesses during times of transformation.

What is Change Management?

Why Change Happens in Companies

Companies experience change for various reasons, like technological advancements, globalization, and shifting economies. These factors create a need for companies to adapt to stay competitive. Change management frameworks help companies navigate and implement change effectively. They offer a systematic approach to preventing problems, dealing with issues, and minimizing the impact of change. These frameworks streamline the change process, decrease employee resistance, and increase the likelihood of success.

When preparing for and managing change within a company, key factors to consider include:

  • Ensuring employee support through transparent communication
  • Changing strategies and structures
  • Empowering teams
  • Anchoring new changes in the organization’s culture

Effective communication, planning for the worst, and involving employees in the change process are also vital aspects to consider. Successful organizations have a structured and deliberate process in place, ensuring that changes stick and result in business success.

What Does ‘Framework’ Mean?

A framework in change management is a structured approach or model that outlines plans, processes, and steps for implementing organizational change. Understanding this concept is essential for effective change leaders, as it provides a systematic approach to preventing problems and offers methods for dealing with and minimizing the impact of issues during the change process.

Different change management frameworks can help organizations streamline change, decrease employee resistance, and increase the chances of success. Examples of popular change management frameworks include ADKAR, Lewin, McKinsey 7-S, the Kübler-Ross Model, the Satir Change Management Model, and William Bridges’ Transition Model, each with its strengths and advantages.

These frameworks can be used as a guide to plan and execute change effectively, tailored to the specific needs and circumstances of the organization.

Kinds of Change Management Frameworks


The ADKAR Model is a framework that focuses on how individuals experience organizational change. This model relates to change management by providing a structured approach to ensure individual readiness for change.

It helps individuals and organizations navigate change by outlining five key components:

  1. Awareness.
  2. Desire.
  3. Knowledge.
  4. Ability.
  5. Reinforcement

These components support successful change initiatives by addressing the fundamental stages of change.

For instance, the Awareness stage ensures that individuals understand the need for change, while the Desire stage focuses on creating a personal connection to the change. The Knowledge stage provides the necessary information and training.

The Ability stage focuses on ensuring individuals have the skills to implement the change, and the Reinforcement stage ensures that the change is sustained over time.

By focusing on these key components, the ADKAR Model provides a comprehensive framework for managing change at the individual level, contributing to successful organizational change management.

Lewin’s Change Model

Lewin’s Change Model has three important stages: unfreezing, changing, and refreezing.

During the “unfreezing” stage, the organization prepares for change by helping employees recognize its need and obtain their support through transparent communication.

The “changing” stage focuses on altering how the organization conducts business. This includes strategies, structures, systems, processes, and employee behaviors. Clear expectations, team empowerment, and effective communication are crucial.

In the “refreezing” stage, the goal is to ensure that the changes become a permanent part of the organization’s culture. This involves preventing employees from reverting to old ways of conducting business.

Lewin’s Change Model provides organizations a structured approach to navigating the change process. It helps minimize resistance from employees and increases the likelihood of change being successful.

By following these principles, organizations can effectively implement change and improve their likelihood of success.

McKinsey’s 7-S Framework

McKinsey’s 7-S Framework has seven elements: strategy, structure, systems, shared values, skills, style, and staff. These elements work together to impact organizational performance. Strategy and structure provide direction, systems, and abilities to ensure processes and competencies, shared values, and staff create culture, and style ensures effective leadership.

When implementing McKinsey’s 7-S Framework:

  • Transparency in communication is crucial
  • Strategies must align with the structure
  • Consistent organizational culture should be fostered
  • Workforce skills and competencies must match business needs
  • Empower and involve employees in the change process
  • Management styles should align with organizational goals.

Kübler-Ross Change Curve

The Kübler-Ross Change Curve is a framework to understand how people feel during change. It helps identify the stages of grief individuals go through. The five stages are denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. In companies, this framework can help employees see the need for change (denial), handle resistance and frustration (anger), find meaning in the change (bargaining), cope with the reality (depression), and commit to new ways of working (acceptance).

Understanding these stages helps organizations communicate, support, and empower their employees, increasing the chance of successful change management.

Satir’s Change Model

Satir’s Change Model has key components. These include the current status quo, introducing a foreign element, chaos, transformation, and integration. These stages help in understanding and managing organizational change.

Satir’s model is different from other change management frameworks. It focuses on the emotional and psychological response to change, not just the logistical aspects. It considers how change affects individuals emotionally during the transition, making it unique.

Implementing Satir’s Change Model faces common challenges. These include employee resistance, the failure to recognize the need for change, and the inability to communicate the reasons behind the change effectively. Overcoming these challenges requires careful planning and management.

William Bridges’ Transition Model

William Bridges’ Transition Model has three key stages: an ending, a neutral zone, and a new beginning. This model helps organizations navigate change by understanding that transition is a psychological process. It focuses on the emotional impact of change and emphasizes supporting employees through the transition. This sets it apart from other change management frameworks.

The benefits of using this model in change management include:

  • Increased understanding of employee emotions and reactions to change
  • Improved communication strategies tailored to employee needs
  • Greater likelihood of successful implementation of organizational change

Getting Ready for Change

How to Understand the Impact of Change

When trying to understand the impact of change within a company, it’s essential to consider several key factors:

  • The significance of having a clear action plan
  • Involving employees in the change process
  • The potential setbacks and failures in managing change

Companies can effectively assess the potential consequences of change on their employees and operations by using change management frameworks, such as:

  • Lewin
  • McKinsey 7-S
  • Kübler-Ross Model
  • Satir Change Management Model
  • William Bridges’ Transition Model

Understanding the impact of change can help companies prepare for and navigate through transition periods more effectively. It provides a systematic approach to preventing problems and offers methods for dealing with and minimizing the impact of issues.

Additionally, understanding these basic models is crucial for any effective change leader, as it can streamline change, decrease employee resistance, and increase the chances of success.

Making a Plan for New Things

When implementing new changes, starting by considering a change management framework like ADKAR, Lewin, or the Kübler-Ross Model is essential. These frameworks provide a systematic approach to address potential problems and minimize the impact of issues that may arise.

Choosing the proper framework is crucial for success, as each has its strengths and is more appropriate for specific situations.

Factors to consider when planning for changes in a company include effective communication, clear action plans, and involving employees in the process. Preparing for potential setbacks and failures is crucial, ensuring the plan is well-received and successfully implemented within the organization.

To ensure everyone is on board with the changes, a team can use strategies like transparent communication, clear expectations, and empowering teams. Involving employees and seeking support is crucial for securing buy-in and minimizing resistance. Clear and effective communication ensures everyone understands and supports the new changes.

Things to Think About Before Everything Changes

The upcoming change will have a big impact on the company and its employees. It will affect the organization’s strategies, structures, systems, processes, and the behavior of its employees. We can prepare for the changes by involving employees in the change process, ensuring their support through clear communication, and empowering them to embrace the new strategies and processes.

It’s important to consider potential setbacks and failures in managing change and the need for effective communication and clear expectations to change how the organization does business. Making sure the changes stick and become part of the organization’s culture is crucial. Before implementing major changes, it’s essential to have a clear action plan and understand the potential impact of the changes on the entire business.

This requires choosing the proper change management framework, like ADKAR, Lewin, McKinsey 7-S, the Kübler-Ross Model, the Satir Change Management Model, or William Bridges’ Transition Model, to streamline change and decrease employee resistance.

Helping People During Change

Ways to Get the Team Excited About New Changes

Leaders can make the team excited about new changes by involving them in the change process from the start. They can communicate the benefits of the changes effectively, creating buy-in and excitement. This can be done through regular town hall meetings, informal coffee chats, and email updates. Leaders can also involve employees in change management teams, provide regular progress reports, and create opportunities for employees to contribute ideas and feedback.

Leaders can increase excitement about new changes and make implementation smoother by ensuring the team feels heard and valued.

Talking to Your Team About Change

Effective team communication about upcoming changes is essential. Leaders need to be transparent, clear, and empathetic. They should give regular updates, listen to feedback, and address concerns promptly. Open forums, town hall meetings, and one-on-one discussions can be used to ensure everyone is well-informed and feels heard.

To excite the team about changes, leaders can highlight the benefits, involve employees in decision-making, and recognize their efforts. Sharing success stories from other organizations or creating a sense of urgency around the changes can also help build excitement and motivation.

Addressing concerns or resistance can be done by acknowledging fears and uncertainties, providing support and resources, and involving employees in planning and implementation. Encouraging open dialogue, offering reassurance, and being patient as employees adapt can help mitigate resistance and build a more positive attitude.

Making Change Happen

How to Change the Way the Company Works

Change management is essential to changing how a company operates effectively. It’s about making employees understand and support the need for change through clear communication. Altering business strategies, structures, systems, processes, and employee behaviors is also necessary. Clear expectations, team empowerment, and effective communication are essential at this stage. Ensuring the changes become part of the organization’s culture is equally important.

When unforeseen challenges arise during the process, having a systematic approach is essential. This might involve using popular change management frameworks like ADKAR, Lewin, McKinsey 7-S, the Kübler-Ross Model, the Satir Change Management Model, or William Bridges’ Transition Model. Planning for the worst, empowering people, and involving employees in the change process can help minimize the impact of issues and increase the chances of success.

Making Sure Everyone is Following the New Rules

One way to ensure everyone knows the new rules is by communicating openly and involving employees in the change process. This helps them understand the need for change and gain their support.

To enforce compliance with the new rules, it’s important to change how the organization operates. This includes altering strategies, structures, systems, processes, and employee behaviors. Clear expectations, empowering teams, and effective communication are essential.

Monitoring adherence to the new rules involves embedding the changes in the organization’s culture to prevent employees from reverting to old ways of doing business. It’s about ensuring the changes stick, and the organization’s culture aligns with the new rules.

This systematic and intentional process ensures that the changes are implemented effectively and contribute to the business’s success.

What to Do When Things Don’t Go as Planned

When things don’t go as planned in the change management process, one strategy is encouraging open and transparent communication with employees.

Informing employees about unexpected changes and their reasons can make them more supportive and adaptable.

Empowering teams and individuals during change can help the organization address unexpected challenges.

Employees are better equipped to handle unexpected situations and make quick decisions to keep the change management process on track by fostering a culture of autonomy and accountability.

These strategies are essential for ensuring that the company can navigate unexpected disruptions during change and become more assertive on the other side.

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