There are many change management models, frameworks, and tools. So, which are the most popular?

A Google Trends analysis of the popularity of 13 change management models was conducted on October 22, 2023. This provided a proxy measure of the public’s general interest in – and awareness of – these approaches over the previous year. N.B., the analysis only includes the results of “Business & Industrial” searches due to their relevance to the research topic.

PopularityChange Management Model
1 Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) / Deming (Shewhart) Cycle
2The ADKAR Change Management Model (Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability, and Reinforcement)
3Lewin’s Change Model (Unfreeze, Change, Refreeze)
4Kotter’s 8-Step Transformation Process (Step 1: Create Urgency; Step 2: Form a Powerful Coalition; Step 3: Create a Vision for Change; Step 4: Communicate the Vision; Step 5: Remove Obstacles; Step 6: Create Short-Term Wins; Step 7: Build on the Change; Step 8: Anchor the Changes in Corporate Culture).
5EFQM Diagnostic Tool: RADAR (Results, Approach, Deployment, Assessment, and Refinement)
6Bridges Transition Model (Ending What Currently Is; The Neutral Zone; and, The New Beginning)
7Nudge Theory (the idea of gently guiding/nudging people’s choices)
8Kübler-Ross Change Curve (Shock & Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance)
9McKinsey 7-S Model (Strategy, Structure, Systems, Shared Values, Style, Staff, and Skills)
10Satir Change Model (Late Status Quo, Resistance, Chaos, Integration, New Status Quo)
11Rick Maurer 3 Levels of Resistance to Change (I Don’t Get It; I Don’t Like It; I Don’t Like You)
*Behnam Tabrizi’s Rapid Transformational Model (A 90-Day Plan for Fast and Effective Change)
**General Electric Change Acceleration Process (GE-CAP) (The Effectiveness (E) of any initiative = “Quality (Q) of the technical strategy” multiplied by the “Acceptance (A) of that strategy”: (E=Q*A)).

Table 1: Google Trends Analysis of the popularity of 13 change management models over the past 12 months
(most popular to least popular) (date of analysis: 22 October 2023).

**Same level of popularity: Behnam Tabrizi’s Rapid Transformational Model and the GE Change Acceleration Process (GE-CAP) were not as popular on the graphs for the given region (worldwide) and time range in comparison to the other models.

Table 1 shows that the Plan-Do-Check Act (PDCA) Cycle was the most popular change management model: indeed, it was substantially more popular than the other models, as illustrated in Figure 1. The numbers on the left-hand axis of the graphs represent search interest relative to the highest point on the graph for the given region and time. A value of 100 is the peak popularity for the term. A value of 50 means that the term is half as popular. This graph reveals that PDCA is approximately 100 times more popular than the other models.

Figure 1: Google Trends Popularity comparison between five of the most popular change management models over the past year
(date of analysis: 22 October 2023).

For Figure 2, PDCA has been removed to enable an easier comparison of the popularity of the next five most popular change management models. As can be seen, the ADKAR Change Management Model is the most popular of these five.

Figure 2: Google Trends Popularity comparison between the 2nd to the 6th most popular change management models over the past year
(date of analysis: 22 October 2023).

You can obtain further information about the content featured in this blog by following the links to the website. Membership of is available at This blog is part of a larger report entitled “Best Practice Brief, Issue 1: Change Management”, which is available from the member’s area of

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Author:by Dr Robin Mann and Dr Almas Tazein, Centre for Organisational Excellence Research, New Zealand, November 6, 2023
Source :-
BPIR Category : 14.3.7 Manage transition to change
Latest News Categories: Change Management, Best Practice Reports, Best practices, Latest News