KWC model to support Change Management

KWC model - Toolshero

KWC model: this article describes the KWC model. The article starts with the definition of this model, followed by information about its origins and the different elements that make up the model. Enjoy reading!

What is the KWC model?

“Slowness to change usually means fear of the new.” — Philip Crosby. Change is an inevitable part of life. This certainly also applies to business. Whether it’s a change in strategy for a large company, or a change in an employee’s schedule, changes can be exciting.

Change management has long been studied in an organizational context. It has been established that many employees resist change. Resistance can take many forms, from passive resistance such as lack of engagement, to active resistance such as protests, strikes or even sabotage.

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Managing this resistance is therefore crucial to ensure that the change initiative can be successfully implemented and to minimize the negative impact on employees.

Change management models

That’s where change management models can be useful. One such model is the KWC model. KWC stands for:

  1. Know
  2. Want
  3. Can

The KWC model is a process-oriented approach to change that focuses on managing resistance among employees by highlighting their needs and desires in each of the phases of the change process.

The first thing employees want to know is why the change is necessary. This is achieved through effective communication.

Secondly, it is important that employees want the change themselves. This requires involvement.
Finally, employees must feel that they can act and manage the change.

The KWC model is only one of the models used for change management. Several other models have been developed in recent years, including Lewin’s Change Model, Kotter’s 8-Step Change Model and the ADKAR Model of Change. These models share the goal of helping organizations navigate times of change.

This article takes a closer look at the KWC model and how the model can be applied in practice. By the end of the article, you will have a better understanding of how change can be effectively managed and how to best overcome resistance.

The 3 phases of the KWC model

The 3 elements or phases of the KWC are explained below.


In this first phase of the process, the focus should be on effective communication. This is important because it ensures that employees have a clear understanding of the reason for the change.

The knowing phase involves communicating the rationale for the change, its benefits and its potential impact. New roles and responsibilities must also be clarified in this phase.

It is important that communication is open, transparent and honest. It should consider all concerns and questions of the employees and focus on creating awareness and understanding of the new changes.


This second phase focuses on creating employee involvement and buy-in. It includes developing a sense of urgency and encouraging employees to see the benefits and opportunities of the change.

It is important to involve employees in the change process and to give them a voice. This increases motivation and increases the chance that they support the new plans.


This phase should ensure that employees are provided with the necessary skills, knowledge, resources and support to successfully implement the initiative. It is important to emphasize that any challenges and barriers that may arise will be addressed. The result of good policy in this phase is a sense of self-confidence among employees.

In summary, the KWC model is a useful framework for organizations to ensure that change can be managed at every stage of the change process. By focusing on effective communication, engagement and support, managers can remove resistance and enable successful implementation.

Application of the KWC model in practice

Consider the following example.

Suppose a company wants to implement artificial intelligence (AI) into its strategy to improve operational efficiency and decision-making. Below you can read how the KWC model can be applied in this situation.


In the first phase of the process of implementing AI, the company will communicate the rationale for adding the technology.

This includes, for example, explaining to employees how AI can improve operational efficiency, optimize decision-making and how these matters ultimately contribute to improving customer experience.

The company also addresses any concerns and questions employees may have. People are often curious whether layoffs will follow as a result of the arrival of AI.

Employees are also curious how this will affect their position and whether they need new knowledge and if they will be trained for this through courses.

By being honest, transparent and open, the organization has a chance to create involvement and awareness.


The second phase of the model revolves around creating commitment and motivation for implementing AI, so the company ensures that all employees are involved in the decision-making process regarding its implementation.

Part of that is providing the opportunity to provide feedback and suggestions on how AI can support and enrich their personal role.

The organization can also focus on emphasizing how AI can make employee functions easier and more satisfying. This results in a sense of ownership and motivation to get started with AI.


The last phase of this model revolves around providing employees with the necessary skills, knowledge and support to successfully implement AI in their work processes.

This includes, for example, providing courses, manuals and procedures for using AI in their daily activities. It is also important that the infrastructure is adapted so that AI can enter smoothly.

Advantages of using the KWC model

Below you will find the most important advantages of the KWC model.

Structured approach to change

The KWC model provides a structured approach to change management, helping organizations better understand the specific needs and concerns of employees at each stage of the change process.

Minimizes resistance

The KWC model can minimize employee resistance by focusing on effective communication and engagement at every stage of the change process.

Focus on employee needs and wishes

The KWC model places a strong emphasis on addressing employee needs at every stage of the change process, making employees feel heard, valued and motivated to support the change initiative.

Increases the chance of successful implementation

By taking a structured approach and focusing on effective communication, engagement and support, the KWC model can increase the likelihood of a successful change initiative.

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Now it’s your turn

What do you think? Do you recognize the explanation about the KWC model? Do you find change in your work environment difficult? Do you notice that colleagues resist change initiatives? Do you think that communication can and should be improved in your work environment during change? Do you have other tips or comments?

Share your experience and knowledge in the comments box below.

More information

  1. Mento, A., Jones, R., & Dirndorfer, W. (2002). A change management process: Grounded in both theory and practice. Journal of change management, 3(1), 45-59.
  2. Lauer, T. (2010). Change management. Springer Berlin Heidelberg.
  3. Sarayreh, B. H., Khudair, H., & Barakat, E. A. (2013). Comparative study: The Kurt Lewin of change management. International Journal of Computer and Information Technology, 2(4), 626-629.

How to cite this article:
Janse, B. (2024). KWC model. Retrieved [insert date] from Toolshero:

Original publication date: 03/08/2024 | Last update: 03/08/2024

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Ben Janse
Article by:

Ben Janse

Ben Janse is a young professional working at ToolsHero as Content Manager. He is also an International Business student at Rotterdam Business School where he focusses on analyzing and developing management models. Thanks to his theoretical and practical knowledge, he knows how to distinguish main- and side issues and to make the essence of each article clearly visible.


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