Overview of Popular Change Management Frameworks

Since change is the only constant thing in life, businesses must manage change effectively. Businesses constantly change due to internal developments, external changes, and technological improvements. Many look to a Change Management Certification to learn more about Change Management Principles to navigate these waters successfully.

In this blog, we will look at the subtleties and applicability of some of the most popular frameworks in business.

Table of Contents

  • What are Change Management Principles?
    • The Essence of Change Management Certification
  • ADKAR Model
  • Kotter’s 8-Step Process
    • Create Urgency
    • Form a Powerful Coalition
    • Create a Vision for Change
    • Communicate the Vision
    • Remove Obstacles
    • Create Short-Term Wins
    • Build on the Change
    • Anchor the Changes in Corporate Culture
  • The McKinsey 7-S Framework
  • Lewin’s Change Management Model
    • Unfreeze
    • Change
    • Refreeze
  • The Prosci ADKAR Model
    • Integrating with Project Management
  • The Importance of Change Management Frameworks
    • Navigating the Future
  • Conclusion

What are Change Management Principles?

Understanding the core ideas that support successful change management is crucial before delving into the various frameworks. Change encompasses people, procedures, and culture; it is not just a matter of procedure. Acknowledging this, businesses are looking increasingly for experts with change management certification to help them navigate the complex transformation process.

The Essence of Change Management Certification

Their change management certification validates a person’s competence in managing organisational change. It includes many abilities, from using strategic methods to comprehending human psychology. A disciplined strategy is brought to the table by professionals who have earned a certification in change management, guaranteeing that change is managed and welcomed.


The Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability, and Reinforcement (ADKAR) model is a potent framework that helps people move through the stages of transformation. The ADKAR approach, created by Prosci, a renowned institute for study on change management, is grounded in psychology and emphasises the human aspect of change.

People who are at the Awareness stage comprehend the need for change. While the Knowledge stage disseminates the knowledge and skills required for the transformation, the Desire phase focuses on developing the willingness to engage. Reinforcement ensures the change is sustainable, whereas Ability deals with successfully implementing the change.

Kotter’s 8-Step Process

Change is a purposeful process rather than an isolated incident. The 8-Step Process, developed by Dr. John Kotter, is a popular framework highlighting the strategic aspect of change management. Kotter’s methodology offers an organised road map for organisational transformation, from establishing a sense of urgency to securing change in the company culture.

Create Urgency

  1. Recognise and communicate the need for change.
  2. Address the dangers and repercussions of keeping things as they are.
  3. Motivate and urge stakeholders to support the change initiative.

Form a Powerful Coalition

  1. Put together an inclusive group of influential leaders.
  2. Include people with diverse talents, expertise, and credibility.
  3. Form a coalition with members from different levels of the organisation.

Create a Vision for Change

  1. Create a compelling and understandable vision for a desirable future state.
  2. Describe the main goals and purposes of the change initiative.
  3. Make sure there is a sense of purpose and direction in the vision.

Communicate the Vision

  1. Communicate the vision widely and consistently.
  2. Engage all stakeholders through a variety of communication methods.
  3. Assist everyone in understanding the goal and their part in making it happen.

Remove Obstacles

  1. Find and remove obstacles that stand in the way of progress.
  2. Reorganise procedures or redistribute resources as necessary.
  3. Use assistance and communication to overcome resistance to change.

Create Short-Term Wins

  1. Celebrate each little accomplishment you make along the way.
  2. Highlight the benefits that the change project has brought about.
  3. Increase the organisation’s confidence and momentum.

Build on the Change

  1. Leverage the initial successes to drive additional change.
  2. Expand on successful initiatives and improve procedures.
  3. Continue your improvement efforts and address all outstanding problems.

Anchor the Changes in Corporate Culture

  1. Integrate the modifications into the processes and culture of the company.
  2. Update policies and adjust reward systems to reflect the new course.
  3. Encourage a culture of adaptation and ongoing development.

The McKinsey 7-S Framework

McKinsey’s 7-S Framework approach is distinct; it concentrates on seven internal elements that must be aligned for transformation to be successful. They include Strategy, Structure, Systems, Shared Values, Skills, Style, and Staff. According to McKinsey, change is most effective when these components are in harmony.

  1. Strategy: This is how the company intends to accomplish its goals. It includes decisions regarding the organisation’s course, the distribution of resources, and its competitive standing.
  2. Structure: This is the arrangement of positions, responsibilities, and reporting lines inside an organisation. It looks at the relationships between the various components of the organisation and the information flow within the framework.
  3. Systems: Consists of the established and unofficial protocols and guidelines that direct the completion of tasks. This covers decision-making procedures, performance evaluation techniques, information systems, and other systems that assist with day-to-day operations.
  4. Shared values: Also referred to as “superordinate goals” or “core values,” these stand for the business’s firmly held convictions and guiding ideals. The company’s shared values define its identity, which impacts behaviour and decision-making.
  5. Style: This describes the company’s management and leadership approach. It encompasses how managers engage with staff members, the degree of formality, and the cultural standards that mould the workplace.
  6. Staff: Refers to the company’s personnel, including their quantity, calibre, and drive. Aspects like talent management, development, and training are also taken into account while considering staff.
  7. Skills: These consist of the employees’ aptitudes and proficiencies inside the company. They cover the technical know-how and specialised expertise required for the company to carry out its plan.

Lewin’s Change Management Model

Kurt Lewin developed the Change Management Model, which is still applicable today. It is commonly depicted as a three-step process that consists of Unfreezing, Changing, and Refreezing. When it comes to handling the psychological aspects of change, Lewin’s approach excels.


  1. Create Awareness: Explain why and how much change is necessary.
  2. Communicate Urgency: Raise motivation by emphasising the dangers of staying the same.


  1. Execute Change: Implement new processes or actions.
  2. Oversee Transition: Lead the company through the change while resolving opposition.


  1. Stabilise Change: Integrate new techniques and culture into existing ones.
  2. Celebrate Successes: Honor accomplishments and significant milestones.
  3. Solidify the Change: Adjust all processes and policies to reflect what has changed.

The Prosci ADKAR Model

The previously described Prosci ADKAR model approaches change management holistically. It covers the phases people go through and integrates well with project management techniques. This makes it the go-to framework for businesses looking to close the gap between people and processes during transformation.

Integrating with Project Management

The Prosci ADKAR model’s ability to work with project management techniques is one of its advantages. Organisations may guarantee a seamless and well-coordinated transition by matching change management concepts with project timeframes and milestones.

The Importance of Change Management Frameworks

Change is a given in the fast-paced world of business. Effective change management and adaptation are key differentiators for successful firms. Change management frameworks, such as Kotter’s 8-Step Process, Lewin’s Model, McKinsey 7-S, and Prosci’s ADKAR, offer the structure and direction required to negotiate the intricacies of change effectively.

Navigating the Future

There is a growing need for professionals with change management certification as companies work to maintain their resilience and competitiveness. These people guarantee that change is a deliberate move towards growth rather than merely a reaction to outside factors by bringing their competence and strategic thinking.


Change is a chance for growth rather than a barrier in the corporate world. Organisations can successfully traverse change by understanding and implementing change management ideas using frameworks. As they say, “Change is the only constant,” companies can use that fact to spur advancement and creativity if they have the proper structures in place. For more information visit: The Knowledge Academy.

Ikram Ullah

Founder & CEO · Ikram Ullah is a seasoned content writer and editor hailing from Faisalabad, Pakistan, boasting a decade of rich experience in SEO and content writing. He is particularly distinguished in the realm of technology content writing, where he excels at demystifying complex technological concepts, making them accessible and engaging for a broad audience. Throughout his career, Ikram has made significant contributions to various websites, showcasing his commitment to technological advancements and his skill in creating informative and compelling content. His portfolio includes work for floarena.net, littlebyties.com, republicansunited.com, and invisiblelocs.net, each reflecting his dedication and expertise in the field.

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