Are you prepared to refreeze?
This Covid change process is getting old. Last spring we responded to a crisis and opened up quickly for change. We have been adapting ever since. I am fine with adapting, but will it ever end?
Kurt Lewin’s change model describes the need to unfreeze, change and refreeze. My favorite image illustrating this concept comes from this article by MindTools:
If you have a large cube of ice but realize that what you want is a cone of ice, what do you do? First you must melt the ice to make it amenable to change (unfreeze). Then you must mold the iced water into the shape you want (change). Finally, you must solidify the new shape (refreeze).
I thought we were moving toward the refreeze stage, but it seems not yet. In Switzerland it is warmer than normal, and the snow is too soft for the end of February. In addition, we are still debating when to re-open restaurants and cultural activities, and likely we must wait a little longer. While I understand this logically, emotionally I am getting fed up. It feels like we are still doing the dead man’s float in the ice water of change, with little sign of a rescue on the horizon.
If we use Lewin’s model as a guide, what could we be doing during this time when we are still face down in the water? We could be preparing our vision for the new ice cone, ready for the day when we are able to refreeze.
We see signs of what this might look like. Clearly it will be a new ice cone as compared to the old ice cube. More use of technology, more working from home, hybrid educational models, responding differently to climate change, different ways of traveling. The list is long, and we start to see the new shapes emerging.
Do you have a vision for your personal ice cone? Are you taking this time to put the pieces in place to make it a reality? Perhaps this extended period of ice water provides an opportunity to prepare the mold so we are ready to refreeze our ice cone into the perfect shape when the time is right.
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