UNFREEZE, CHANGE AND FREEZEOne way to look at the process of setting goals is through the theory of freeze-change-unfreeze. It was the Swedish psychologist Kurt Lewin who invented this model. It is an important model for setting goals. Setting goals is important as all businesses, no matter their field or size, are changing through time. Thus, we must perceive change as a process compounded by different stages. Stages for which we should prepare and develop a plan to be able to cope with the evolution. Setting goals is a task that is time and energy consuming but which can change what you do and how you do it. This is why it is so relevant to think about when to set goals. The theory is commonly compared to an ice cube, which, if left long enough, will melt. And therefore, it will be able to acquire a different shape than the original one. With the three stages model, Kurt Lewin provides us with an understanding of changes inside organizations.
Unfreezing might be helpful to do once in a while. It helps you reconsider if you have actually placed the cups in the best spot in the kitchen. Unfreezing one thing will make more things unfreeze. If you move over your coffee cup next to the coffee machine, you might have to move the tea bags that were there before. This will then be taking the place of the sugar cubes and so on. It is the same when re-thinking your organizations’ goals. When rethinking branding, for instance, you cannot do it without also rethinking human resources, production, and so on.Unfreezing is a demanding task that will take a lot of psychological energy. Yet, you will benefit in the long run. This means that you should do it regularly, but not too often. Before starting the unfreezing stage, you first need to make everyone aware that change is necessary. The reason why the system should change needs to be visible. The gap between the current situation and the ideal situation should be highlighted. This way, everyone will be aware of why the current process cannot continue. They will understand why change needs to happen. To not waste energy and time, you need to respect the fact that when you set a goal, it is engraved in stone. This way, you can focus on something else and be confident when making decisions. Only then, you might set a date for when you need to reflect on the goal, but you can not do it constantly.