Hudson Model

Hudson Model


The Hudson model was developed by Frederic HUDSON (1934), a coach and professor at Columbia University. It is represented by a wheel that describes the phases of continuous change within and around us (Change: the path from a given, often problematic situation to a more desirable situation with new solutions).

The Hudson wheel is crossed by 2 axes:

  • Vertical axis: our amount of available energy (high or low)
  • Horizontal axis: the quality of this energy (positive or negative).

... composed of 2 main parts

  • The upper part of the wheel is called the "CHAPTER". Its characteristics: Turned towards the outside. High energy. It is a dynamic and conquering part.
  • The lower part of the wheel is called the "TRANSITION". Its characteristics: Inward-looking. Low energy. It is a part that is oriented towards taking a step back, distancing oneself, questioning the "after", and which will be the basis for the subsequent construction.

... hence 4 dials = 4 phases of life: launch, slump, cocooning, renewal.

They follow one another with possible back and forth between them.



  • The wheel is not linear: there may be some back and forth between phases.
  • Mini-transitions: these are shortcuts that avoid the big transition thanks to adjustments (arrows that go from phase 1 to 2).

E.g.: Keeping the same job, and the same mission by modifying the working time, the roadmap, the scope of responsibility...

  • For each phase, there are plateau phases.


There are 2 types of change.

  • Type 1 changes :
    • concern the upper part of the Hudson wheel (the chapter).
    • are changes in environment, behaviour, and capabilities. - They require taking stock, making adjustments and reinventing oneself a little.
  • Type 2 changes :
    • concern the lower part of the Hudson Wheel (level of being).
    • They correspond to fundamental changes in the beliefs and values, the mission of the person who is undergoing a profound identity change. - The most difficult stage is that of mourning: it is a question of accepting the definitive loss of the past situation, in order to rebuild oneself.

The types of change can colour the passage through the phases.

Phase 1 - Launch (alignment): High and positive energy.

3 steps :

1. Dream and plan: defining the project

2. Launching: implementing the project

3. Plateau phase: implementation and profitability

  • In action with the launch of a project, activity or new job: construction dynamics.
  • In pleasure because our actions have meaning because we are aligned with our values and goals. Positive experience. Enthusiasm, joy, passion, impatience, state of grace. - Striving to achieve sustainable levels of success and well-being.
  • Need to regularly reintroduce challenge and novelty or risk falling into phase 2.

Phase 2 - Marasmus (desynchronisation): High and negative energy.

2 steps :

4. Slump/ Breakdown

5. Ranking things

  • Dissatisfaction and doubts. Feelings of having come full circle.
  • Emotions of the anger family: annoyance, frustration, disappointment, anxiety.
  • We grumble and complain without really acting.
  • Need to hear this alarm, identify what is no longer appropriate, and make the necessary adjustments or changes to move back to Phase 1 (Type 1 Change).
  • When this is not possible, a milestone is passed and we enter phase 3.

Phase 3 - Cocooning (disengagement): Low and negative energy.

2 steps :

6. End / Farewell: Mourning

7. Cocooning: maturing

  • The unpopular phase that many try to avoid or shorten.
  • Dejection, discouragement, melancholy, depression, resignation. No desire.
  • Reduction of activities and contacts. Withdrawal from the world. Loneliness.
  • Need to understand that this is a great transition, a profound and structuring change, a non-return (Type 2 change), a moment of pause that allows us to reflect on what no longer suits us, to find out what is really needed to start again.
  • It is a time to find meaning, to redefine one's professional project before living it with desire and vitality.
  • A breath of fresh air and more positive emotions arrive: this is phase 4.

Phase 4 - Renewal (reintegration): Low and positive energy

3 steps :

8. Restructuring: unblocking

9. Self-renewal

10. Experimentation: exploring and reinventing the future

  • Rediscovery of what makes sense in our lives: values, personal goals. Peace, serenity.
  • Renewal of self with newfound confidence, desire to learn, and new lightness.
  • Reconnecting with others and getting closer to people who fit this new chapter.
  • Time to reflect, explore new avenues, to experiment.
  • Need to enter a new phase 1, and a new beginning.


  • The unlearning phase is past-oriented: loss of bearings (stagnation) and the need to turn inwards (cocooning).
  • The learning phase looks to the future: the desire to take control of one's life, to formulate new projects (renewal) and to commit oneself (launching).