Understanding Kurt Lewin’s Change Model: Freeze, Unfreeze, Refreeze


Kurt Lewin, a pioneering psychologist, introduced a seminal change model known as the Freeze, Unfreeze, Refreeze model. This model provides a structured approach to understanding and managing organizational change. By breaking down the change process into three distinct stages, Lewin’s model offers valuable insights into how individuals and organizations can navigate transitions effectively.

Freeze Stage:

The Freeze stage represents the status quo or the current state of affairs within an organization. At this stage, there is a sense of stability and equilibrium, where existing norms, processes, and structures are firmly established. However, despite the apparent stability, there may be underlying issues or inefficiencies that hinder growth or adaptation to new challenges.

Unfreeze Stage:

The Unfreeze stage is characterized by the recognition that change is necessary to address challenges or capitalize on opportunities. This stage involves disrupting the existing equilibrium by challenging entrenched beliefs, behaviors, and systems. It requires creating a sense of urgency and readiness for change among individuals and teams within the organization. This can be achieved through effective communication, leadership support, and involvement of stakeholders in the change process.

During the Unfreeze stage, organizations may encounter resistance from individuals who are comfortable with the status quo or fear the unknown. Addressing resistance involves fostering open dialogue, providing support, and emphasizing the benefits of change. By overcoming resistance and promoting a shared vision for the future, organizations can create momentum for change.

Refreeze Stage:

The Refreeze stage involves solidifying the changes implemented during the Unfreeze stage and embedding them into the organization’s culture and practices. This stage is crucial for sustaining the momentum of change and preventing regression to the previous state. Refreezing entails reinforcing new behaviors, systems, and processes through formal policies, training programs, and recognition of desired outcomes.

Moreover, the Refreeze stage allows organizations to evaluate the effectiveness of the changes and make necessary adjustments to ensure long-term success. It involves monitoring progress, gathering feedback, and celebrating milestones achieved along the change journey. By institutionalizing change, organizations can adapt to evolving environments and thrive in the face of uncertainty.


Kurt Lewin’s Freeze, Unfreeze, Refreeze model provides a valuable framework for understanding and managing organizational change. By acknowledging the need to disrupt the status quo, engage stakeholders, and institutionalize change, organizations can navigate transitions more effectively and achieve sustainable growth and success. Embracing change as a continuous process enables organizations to remain agile and resilient in today’s dynamic business landscape.