Tip #755: Manage Change with ADKAR

man wearing suit

“All personal breakthroughs begin with a change in beliefs.” Tony Robbins

 I just became aware of a change management tool that focuses, first and foremost, on the individual level, since that is where change happens. It is called ADKAR, an acronym that represents the five milestones an individual must achieve for change to be successful: Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability and Reinforcement. The model can be used to implement change as well as to diagnose where obstacles occur so they can be addressed.

Here is a brief description of each milestone and the actions that can initiate and support it:

  1. Awareness of the need for change. I understand why the change is necessary.

Awareness is built through effective communication, effective sponsorship, coaching by managers and supervisors, and ready access to business information.

  1. Desire to participate and support the change. I want to change.

Desire to change is influenced by the nature of the change and WIIFM, the organizational context for the change, an employee’s personal situation, and personal values and motivators.

  1. Knowledge about how to change (and what the change looks like). I know how to change.

Knowledge is built through effective training and education programs, job aids, one-on-one coaching and user groups and forums.

  1. Ability to implement the change on a day-to-day basis. I can change.

Ability is fostered through the day-to-day involvement of managers, access to subject matter experts, hands-on exercises during training, and adoption and performance monitoring.

  1. Reinforcement to make the change stick. I have supports in place to maintain the change.

Reinforcement is built through celebrations and recognition, rewards, feedback from employees, audits and performance management systems, and accountability systems.

To read about each milestone, go to the following sites offered by Prosci:

If you have used the ADKAR model, I would love to hear about your experience.

May your learning be sweet.


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