In this blog post, we will be discussing The ADKAR model and answering the following questions:

  • What is The ADKAR Model?
  • Why do I need it?
  • How will The ADKAR model benefit my organization?

The ADKAR Model

All organizations experience change during their companies life cycle.  Change can be difficult, but if done correctly, change can not only benefit your organization in the present, but also help in the future.  Whether your organization is in the start up phase, growth stage or maturity stage, change is occurring and successful change is the key to maintaining a healthy organization.  However the key to having successful organizational change begins on the individual level.  ADKAR is a model for successfully changing an individual, which leads to successful changing the organization.

ADKAR stands for the following:

Awareness – of the need for change

Desire – to support and participate in the change

Knowledge – of how to change

Ability – to implement the change

Reinforcement – to sustain the change

Below, I will explain each step in the ADKAR model and why each steps needs to be completed before the next step can start.  

  1. Awareness - awareness of the need for change is the most important.  This process helps the targeted individual understand why a change needs to be made.  Communication with each individual is important, and you want them to clearly understand why the change is being made.

  2. Desire - desire to support and participate in the change.  As mentioned before, you need to raise awareness of the change to the individual before they can support and participate in the desired change.  Once the individual understands why this change is being made, and how it could benefit them, they will be more receptive to the desired change.  Answering the WIIFM (What’s In It For Me?) question is one way to help an individual support and participate in the change. Another way to promote the change is to offer incentives to an individual, however, this may only be a temporary solution.  Another way to help support the change to individuals is to have leaders/stakeholders support the change, many individuals look to their managers for support and could be influenced if their leader supports the change.

  3. Knowledge – knowledge of how to change.  After the individual supports and wants to participate in the change, you need to train or explain to the individual how they can help implement the change.  This can be done though many modes including Formal training, E-learning, hands-on training, etc.  Knowing which method is best for the individual is important for a smooth transition of knowledge.

  4. Ability – ability to implement the change.  After the individual knows how they can implement the change, the actual change needs to take place.  This is the step in the process that can take the most time.  The individual may understand how to implement the change through the training process, but having the ability to make the change, can take time, feedback, and even potential coaching.

  5. Reinforcement - reinforcement to sustain the change.  This step is important to keep the changes in place, and prevent an individual or the organization from changing back to their previous ways.  

Each individual has a different learning curve, and will prefer a different method to learn the desired change.  Learning which method is best for each individual can drastically reduce the amount of time needed to implement the change.  Using the ADKAR model, takes the individual step by step through the change process, rather than implementing the change at one time.

Ignite Consulting

Written by Ignite Consulting

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