Project Management

Change for the Better

Tom Keenze

In a previous article, we noted that transforming the culture of an organization to support excellent Customer Relationship Management would be one of the biggest challenges. We briefly discussed the four levels of change: knowledge, attitude, individual behavior and group performance. In this article, we will explore the change process in greater detail.

Lloyd S. Lewan, former professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and now chairman of Lewan & Associates, a large provider of total office technology, identified three phases associated with the process of changing behaviors. These are unfreeezing, changing and refreezing.

Lewan describes unfreezing as the phase during which individuals become motivated and made ready to accept change. It is the breaking down of customs and traditions--the old ways of doing things. There are basically two ways of unfreezing behavior patterns: increase the driving forces and reduce the forces that are resisting change.

When I think about the unfreezing process, I am reminded of my 11 weeks in United States Navy Boot Camp. To accomplish the level of change required for citizens to adapt to military life, drastic measures are needed. Edgar H. Schein, of the MIT Sloan School of Management, determined that the elements necessary to create drastic change include: physical removal of individuals from normal …

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"Why is it that people rejoice at a birth and grieve at a funeral? It is because we are not the people involved."

- Mark Twain