Chapter 8: Change Models and 21st Century Organizations: An Epistemic Journey to Creative Innovation
From the Book: The Refractive Thinker®: Vol. V: Strategy in Innovation


n the wake of global economic disasters, environmental chaos, political upheaval, dishonesty in business and frightening, massive fundamental changes in our healthcare system, organizations are being challenged to creatively innovate a future for the highest good of the communities they serve. The charted history of organizational change exposes leadership interest in transformation as a constant reality as far back as 535 BC when Heraclitus was described as the ‘great philosopher of eternal change’ (Kirk, Raven, & Schofield, 1995). This organizational bias toward change is driven by strong visionary leadership that rewards inventive acts that favor renewal and maintain the organization’s solvency. Significant models of change generated by recognized theorists and thinkers such as Kurt Lewin and Edgar Schein whose critical contributions add value to the organizational change literature, established the foundation for creative innovation. This article is a detailed synthesis, analysis, and critique of the change models presented by Kurt Lewin, Edgar Schein, and a look at three models of creative innovation: the Army of Entrepreneurs, Design-inspired corporate citizenship, and the four pillars of organizational success. These models were discussed with regard to their utility, contribution, and relevance to contemporary change concepts within organizations.