Kantata FacebookKantata LinkedInKantata Twitter
The 6 Models of Change Management: Which Is Right For Your Professional Services Business?

The 6 Models of Change Management: Which Is Right For Your Professional Services Business?

UPDATEDJun 27, 2023

Change management can be a big and intimidating undertaking for any professional services organization. The process of altering the fundamental ways that a company does business or switching over to a new software solution for crucial aspects of work can be daunting. However, these changes are often not only for the best, they can be absolutely essential to ensuring a company’s future success.

The question is, how should your business approach change management?

There are 6 different change management models, each with their own ethos, origins, and applications for a business. Understanding these different approaches and how you might use them is crucial in successful change management. The following is a quick snapshot of each so that your professional services business can begin undertaking successful, predictable, and beneficial changes.

Which Change Management Model is Right for You?

1. The McKinsey 7-S Model

This model was developed by consultants at McKinsey & Company and focuses on a change program that is broken down into 7 different aspects for a business to focus on. These components are Change Strategy, Company Structure, Business Systems and Processes, Company Values, Style of Work, Involved Staff, and Staff Skills.

As this was originally developed in the 1970s, the 7-S Model is an early and formative outlook on change management whose fundamentals play to a wide variety of businesses. However, its broad approach may mean that a modern business dealing with the accelerated challenges of the professional services world may need to customize and adapt its components to their demands today.

2. Lewin’s Change Management Model

This change management model was developed by Kurt Lewin in the 1950’s, with a focus on implementing change through 3 steps: Unfreeze (preparing for and analyzing change), Change (implementing changing and communicating needs), and Refreeze (checking in and ensuring the change stays in place while ensuring goals are met).

While the implementation process is important, Lewin’s Change Model is most focused on creating the perception that change is needed at a business and making sure the new behavior post-change is the new normal.

3. ADKAR Change Management Model

The ADKAR model was developed by Prosci with a focus on five main goals that every change management process should focus on meeting, no matter the focus of that change. These goals, which together spell ADKAR, are Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability, and Reinforcement.

Because this change model is fully centered on what change does for a professional services organization, instead of detailing the actual steps of change, every business that uses this model will need to determine what this means for them. When done right, this can ensure major positive effects, but it will take a customized approach.

4. Bridges Transition Model

As created by change consultant William Bridges, the Bridges Transition Model is centered on the emotional transitions experienced by people who must go through the change process. This includes three stages that companies should guide their team members through: “Ending, Losing, and Letting Go,” “The Neutral Zone,” and “The New Beginning”.

Often, a resource pool’s inability or unwillingness to accept a change in business processes, management, or technology will hold them back from embracing a new way of doing business. While this model may not work with the most complicated change processes, it can prevent change rejection and a lack of adoption that causes internal conflict.

5. Kotter’s Change Management Theory

Change management expert John Kotter’s theory of change analyzes the psychology of the people involved in the process of change. To help guide those involved in change, Kotter’s Change Management Theory divides the process into 8 steps: creating a sense of urgency, building a change team, defining strategic vision, communicating the process, identifying roadblocks, creating short-term goals, keeping up momentum, and maintaining changes.

These steps can be applied to many different types of change in professional services organizations due to their application to the psychology of your workforce in tandem with change application.

6. Kubler-Ross Change Management Framework

This change framework created by Elisabeth Kubler-Ross is modeled after the stages of grief, including denial, anger, bargain, depression, and acceptance. Together, these steps are designed to better understand why employees might have a difficult time with any type or size of change at a business so that companies can actively work to make these stages easier to go through and end with the change being accepted and implemented.

Since it is designed to account for the worst potential responses to change, the Kubler-Ross Change Management Framework can help a professional services business prepare for how any resource can be affected by change. Because this model is focused on employee responses instead of the actual change process, a company will need to work on the practical implementation of the change.

The Right Support for Change

Which of these change management models is right for you? Reviewing each in detail, evaluating your organization, and having a dedicated change management team in place to implement the process will help your business make effective changes that have long-term benefits.

Having the right technology in place to support change is important as well. Want to learn more about how the Kantata Professional Services Cloud, can support you in your change management and take your business to the next level? Get in touch with us today.

Contact Us

Get the clarity, control, and confidence that only the Kantata PS Cloud can deliver

See What Kantata Offers

Recommended for you

Interactive Tool

Kantata's Resource Utilization and Revenue Calculator


Walking the Tightrope: Equipping Decision-Makers to Balance Key Priorities With Confidence


Scaling in Modern Professional Services: How to Successfully Grow In a Changing Industry

Success Story

Rocket Consulting Uses Kantata to Free Up Management Time to Focus on Growth
Subscribe to get updates