Kurt Lewin’s three stages of his Change Model creates a very visual and practical metaphor for change. In the school board that I work for, we are adopting an online course selection tool for for the yearly course selection process for students and parents. I would consider ourselves currently in the middle transition stage of Lewin’s model.
Previously, schools had their students all completed paper scan sheets that would then be read by the scanner and interpreted into course selection information. There was definitely many motivating factors that ‘pushed’ us out of this ‘freeze’ stage as the scan sheets were not a very efficient, environmental or elegant solution to the transferring of this information. Although we used this method for several years, and people were for comfortable with it, at least superficially, there were always many of us that questioned whether there was a better method that the school board could afford.
For the past three years, we have been using an online tool that allows students and parents to read about, and select courses online. I was fortunate to be part of the pilot implementation. There have been, and continue to be bumps but overall, it has been a good transition stage. It has been a multi-phased transition/roll-out and there have been many people who have been resistant and others that have embraced the new tool (and every level of acceptance in between.)
If I could extend the metaphor a bit further (maybe too far :), I’d consider that we are in a slushy in between stage. The online tool is being embraced and has most people have shifted their perspective, with this being something that we all know as part of our process now and for the foreseeable future. But the acceptance and use of the online course selection tool is not at a point where we are at a point of stability. Some people are still reluctant users. The freeze has not happened yet, but it has started in many schools and with many students and parents.