Change management is the method in which an organization explains and implements change within its internal and external process.
Over the past several years, organizations have faced many obstacles, some of which they have never needed to navigate through at such a great magnitude. These obstacles have led leaders to lead their organizations through a plethora of changes, some of which were significant. Significant change can be challenging for everyone within an organization, especially if the reason for the change has not been clearly and effectively communicated to everyone within the organization.
"An organization that works to build change competencies in their people will improve over time, maturing into a change-ready organization with the capacity to handle faster, more complex, more independent and more cross-functional change - and achieve strategic advantages." (PROSCI)
Therefore, for organizations to succeed and grow through all forms of change, organizational leaders need a model for change management proven to be successful.
The ADKAR Model
The ADKAR Model for change management involves five phases (Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability, and Reinforcement), and provides questions, talking points, and actions needed to work through in order to implement effective change management in your organization at each phase of the process.
The first phase of the model is Awareness. During this phase, the goal is to make everyone in the organization that will be affected by the change "aware" of the need for change. One of the primary reasons that people seem to be resistant to change is because they do not know the "why" behind the change. The questions you will want to answer during the Awareness phase are:
What is and isn't working in our organization?
What options do I have available?
How do I effectively communicate the problem to everyone in the organization?
Why do we need to make this change?
The second phase of the model is Desire. This phase is historically the most difficult one because it requires individuals to make the decision to "buy-in" to the change. For the Desire phase to be successful, the Awareness phase needs to be compelling and clear. The questions you will need to answer during the Desire phase are:
What is in this for me?
What are the benefits of the change?
Why should I buy-in and participate?
The third phase of the model is Knowledge. Knowledge is achieved through training. Most organizations skip the first two phases and put all their hope in training their people towards change. This approach fails every time. People need to know the "what" and "why" before they will ever take training seriously. The questions you will need to answer during the Knowledge phase are:
What skills or competencies are needed for implementing this change?
How do obtain these skills?
The fourth phase of the model is Ability. Once everyone has bought-in and are trained, then you are ready to act - to implement the desired change. During this phase you will need clear and continuous communication throughout the organization. Now that everyone knows what we are doing, why we are doing it, and how we are doing it, they will need to be coached on how to take action. The questions you will want to answer during the Ability phase are:
Now that I have the knowledge, will I be able to act on it?
What is the process for solving problems as they arise?
What questions might I need to be prepared to answer?
The fifth and final phase of the model is Reinforcement. Change doesn't happen overnight, and if that is the expectation the changes made will not stick. The final reinforcement phase prepares you to not fall back to old habits. Change will not happen or stick if Senior Leadership is not engaged in the entire process, monitoring all progress. The questions you will want to answer during the Reinforcement phase are:
What method will I use to monitor progress?
What happens if we are successful?
What is the reward structure to encourage everyone?
The ADKAR Model of Change Management is, in our opinion, the most effective approach in the industry. It is a tried and true method to ensure that organizations are successful in change management
RCI consultants have used this model throughout their careers and are available to talk with you further to see if ADKAR is the right fit for your organization. For more information about change management, please contact us at email@example.com.
*ADKAR is a change management model created by PROSCI.