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Impact of leadership and culture on change management

When it comes to change management the concept revolves around the fact whether the change needs to be in terms of infrastructure or management policies or the general structure as in change in leadership styles, culture, and many more. When the change is required managers or the leadership will often use various models to plan and execute the change and implement the changes successfully (Bhatt 2017). Some of the very popular models that are perhaps the best in the business are Lewin's change management model, Mckinsey's 7-S model, Nudge theory, Kotters 8 step theory, and many more. The report will discuss only some of these theories and critically present them to show the flaws in the models if there are any. At the same time, the report will also relate the models with the case study to create a better understanding (Cameron and Green 2019).

When it comes to change management after identifying the reason why the change is required the planning is done after that the execution. As observed various analyses and studies have proven that for a change to be successful the culture and the leadership. Not always is there a requirement to change leadership but at times the management identifies some key areas where a change in the type of leader can provide effective and better results. Leadership style should depend on the department and objective. If the idea of the change is to develop employees and have a long-term approach then having a transformational leader is the bets similarly deepening on the various factors of change the leadership style can be decided.

This model is by far the most practical and realistic approach model to the change management process. This involves 8 important steps to change management. Creating urgency is the first step where the concept is to provide a reason for the change. Naturally without any reason to change the company will not change. The change reasons are to be identified and then an urgency about them is to be created as in showing the people what wrong things await of the change does not occur. To end the step managers can request everyone’s support to give them a feeling of importance and purpose for the change (Brock, Peak and Bunch 2019).

Formation of a coalition that is whenever a change or anything big scale is to be done it cannot be done alone hence a team is needed who will support at the same time contribute actively to the process. To convince people in this step powerful leaders are hunted so that they can be useful for the project. Team building will be the main focus here along with making emotional commitments to these powerful leaders so that they play a major role in the change process (Pollack and Pollack 2015).

Kotter’s 8 Step Change Model

The creation of a vision for the change is the third step. Needless to step without any kind of vision the whole point of existing will be gone. As vision is more like a long-term cause for which actions are to be taken. A clear vision will remove confusion and people will not what is to be expected this will create the strategy, and values will be determined.

The fourth step is the communication of the vision. Of course, creating a vision is not enough day-to-day communication along with clearing confusion by the leaders are important. Not only discussion and talking about the change during special meetings but mentioning it at every opportunity will make communication and awareness better which will help in the overall process (Small et al. 2016).

Removing obstacles is the fifth step of the process, it is quite obvious that at any given point of time during a huge change process there will be challenges or roadblocks. The idea of this step is to remove all such obstacle that is stopping the process from happening. 

The sixth step is to create short-term wins that are perhaps the most important phase that is needed to make sure that the change process is continuing and does not lose its pace or effectiveness. It is almost like adding morale to increase the morale and to motivate. This is done by adding some small short-term goals that are easy to achieve so once they are achieved automatically the morale will increase.

Building on the change is the seventh step of the model as it is evident that many projects fail as victory is declared early and to avoid that real change can be possible if the change runs in the depth of the organization. After every finished objective, the whole process is to be analyzed to find out what are the correct things that were done so that those are implemented again the next time and what are the areas that could have been better so that there is a constant improvement.

The final phase of the model is to anchor the change in the culture of the organization. The change needs to be permanent and there is only one thing that is permanent for any organization that is culture. Hence the change is needed to be a part of the core of the organization. When hiring a new workforce the new change ideals and values can be included in the candidate's selection criteria.

Lewins change model

This model has been applied by many companies for both the long-term change process and the short terms change process. The model is effective as it allows the managers to create the change from within the depth of the organization due to its extensive planning and breakdown of stages to implement the change. The only flaw that is often criticized about the model is that it is a time-consuming lengthy process hence quick changes in management will be impossible using this model.  

Lewin’s change model has one of the most practical aspects there is to have; it focuses on dividing the change process of the organization into 3 parts. The first part is Unfreezing. For example, a food item out of the refrigerator would be needed to unfreeze before cooking similarly before changing the management needs to unfreeze the policies the employees, the methods the tools everything. Usually, communication and meetings where the senior management will constantly explain to the employees about the change of why it is needed and how will it happen. In simpler words getting the workforce ready for the change. Changing is the second phase where the plan is executed in this phase the actual change takes place be it the policies or adoption of new methods and tools. Then comes the final phase which is to refreeze. As we know change is not enough after the change the effects may be temporary and the change may fail hence it is important to make it permanent these are the phases where the change is given time to become a part of the company and later its culture.

Usage of the correct model to study and analyze the organizational changes are important hence it is important to choose and go ahead with the Lewins change model as it shows the practical aspect of the changes and its division of the process into three parts makes the study or the analysis much easier and less complicated.  

The first step in this approach should have involved the organization unfreezing the management and the entire workforce. As per the model, this is the most crucial step. The main motive was to change three main management areas. Even though the reason for change management was present there were no significant measures that were taken to make it happen properly. Gap analysis which will show the gap that is presently based on the present state of the organization and the future state that it wants to reach was not present. If an important element is not done then needless to say the change management will not provide the desired outcome. Gap analysis could have been in various ways using different models such as the fishbone model, SWOT analysis advanced or the Mckinsey's 7s Frameworks however none of this was found in the case study hence the first blunder was to not perform a gap analysis. However, even though there was a clear vision of what was needed the first step following the model was not present or rather not adequately present. Even if the change was a success for the company it could have been better if there was urgency created. All the three department leaders should have discussed with the relevant affected workforce constantly at the same time show the entire management why the change is needed. They knew why and to some extent everyone knew but there was a lack of urgency. When it comes to building a team for the process the management should have utilized the first phase of unfreezing and the second phase of change better. However, this step was not followed as the whole case almost showed that there was an extreme urgency to make the change happen hence they were rushing with the process.  The company leadership had a reputation for not trusting each other so the lack of distrust and commitment was always going to be a challenge (Doppelt and McDonough 2017). However, they all agreed that the change was important and was onboard with the process they created teams and gave each team's direction and phased to operate to make sure the change is implemented successfully. The second step of identifying leaders and creating a commitment towards the objectives was a success. They had a team who were in charge of building relationships with each other, to analyze and understand the current state of business as well as to scan the internal environment. Also to review the vision of the company along with designing the activities and the conversations that can help in large group sessions. The above-mentioned task that was assigned for phase one involves strategy making building relationships and communication these aspects will give a clear vision to the change. Key mentioning is the Launch 2 phase for the company where they would communicate with groups of 200 people at a time to explain the case for the change this is a part of the unfreezing process, create a vision in the future, and explain how the change will happen. This is a symbol that the step which is to communicate the vision has been followed by the company (Kaminski 2011). They had a second wave in their system that was dedicated to identifying the future visions for the company. According to the planning of the company, they will have wave 3 that will be dedicated to actin plans and then wave 4 that will contribute to the sustainability of the transformation. The step of identifying and removing the various obstacle that they might have or may have developed was missing from the entire process this is the part of the planning process where the gap analysis should have been done. This part was important as it would have helped in preparation for all risks that may be involved and with obstacles removed the change would have been much easier. When it comes to the changing step where one of the most effective things that managers do to fast-track the change process is to create short terms wins, yes as observed that part was involved in the company process of change. On the third day of discussions and general meetings, they allowed the workforce to develop actions that would help in the change, and as the wave ended they were to submit their report to the management this gave them a sense of importance and increased their morale and generated confidence. When it comes to the process of refreezing it was not found anywhere so it cannot be determined whether the refreezing process was done or not or if done correctly or not.

Comparison with the case study

Coming to the technological transformation some steps were not involved in the process. At the same time, it is to be kept in mind that the technical changes do not require intricate planning. Technological changes are always based on simple logic hence they have a different approach to change management (Schein 1996). This had three phases as the first phase was to build an aligned senior leadership. After reflection, the leadership had decided that this was the time to change their approach and they needed to do something differently (Kritsonis 2005). Once again step one of the models was incomplete and the measures taken or the process involved was not adequate however the step of creating a team and having a vision along with communication a vision which is the part of the unfreeze and changing phase was present. There was no identification of management or change process obstacles however the major technical flaws were identified and aimed towards fixing them was initiated as expected the gap analysis was once again missing however a basic analysis was done which was not the right way to do things as this would not cover all the areas. The step of short-term achievements was also missing from the change process as they had planned and directly proceeded hence somewhere down the line motivation of employees is one of the most important things that is needed was lost. The launch 3 phase for the company involved broadening the involvement of the organization and sustainability. Once again with the various missing steps, the measurable business impact was absent. If the process would have followed the model then the outcome would have been different.

When it came to the CSO transformation process the development team believed that the operating model and the culture required certain changes (Heckelman 2017). The first action that they did was to set direction and align leadership. Once again the first step was missing and they skipped the steps and moved directly to creating a team with capable leaders and vision for the change. The second step that they did was to identify the required actions and also to get themselves engaged with the organizational change (Tang 2019).

Overall as observed it is clear that the company had a mixed result in the change process. As compared with the actual Lewin’s model for change management the three phases mentioned were not followed or were incomplete in some cases. As discussed earlier the model does have a realistic approach a more practical approach. So despite the process being complicated if followed then the success ratio is high. However, as the case study has shown that the involved company and their change process did not have all the steps involved they only had some of the steps. They had a total of three kinds of different changes in three very different sections (Jayatilleke and Lai 2018). However, as observed none of them followed the most important step which is the first step which is to carefully unfreeze. Without that there will be no reasoning or enough cause for everyone to desire the change, support the change and participate in the process. Even though the changes were implemented they did not generate the expected results. There was indeed a positive outcome but not the best results.


From the study, it can be concluded that change management is a critical aspect for a company to be able to fix the flaws in their management and perform properly. The change process management does have plenty of models and theories that help in the study and implementation of change. As the report shows one model is meant only for studying as it does not have a realistic approach and the other is a much more practical model that can be applied in reality for a change. At the same time, it is to be remembered that the culture of an organization and the various styles of leadership play a major role, the change process is not a short simple process it involves many actions and necessary precautions which if not performed correctly then there is a high chance of backfiring. The main thing to remember is that whatever may be the model that is being used must be followed or the steps involved should be carefully implemented and planned to make the change successful.


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Cameron, E. and Green, M., 2019. Making sense of change management: A complete guide to the models, tools, and techniques of organizational change. Kogan Page Publishers.

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Hornstein, H.A., 2015. The integration of project management and organizational change management is now a necessity. International journal of project management, 33(2), pp.291-298.

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Kennett-Hensel, P.A. and Payne, D.M., 2018. Guiding principles for ethical change management. Journal of Business and Management, 24(2), pp.19-45.

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