The World of Work Project

The ADKAR Change Model

The Prosci ADKAR® organizational change model has five stages: Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability and Reinforcement. Like other change models, it focuses on preparing people for change, helping them change and then reinforcing the changes that have occurred.

Summary by The World of Work Project

The ADKAR Change Model

The ADKAR model is a five stage model of change. It is built on the premise that large organizational changes are the product of many individual changes. The model is owned by the company Prosci (Professional Science) and used in their consulting work. You can learn more about them and there work via the Prosci website.

The five stages of the model are: Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability and Reinforcement. 

Awareness

Before people can even consider a change, they must be aware of the need to change / case for change.

Creating awareness often involves communication and education. Increasingly peer advocacy is seen as a powerful tool to raise awareness.

Desire

Awareness alone isn’t enough. Individuals still won’t change unless they want to.

Creating desire for change may involve communication, listing, co-creation, peer-advocacy, clear visions and explaining benefits.

Knowledge is key for change.

Knowledge

To change effectively individuals must not only want to change, but also know how to change.

Increasing knowledge involves communication and training. People want to know the goal and the stages to follow to get there.

Ability

Once people know how to change they can start to develop their ability to do things in new ways.

Helping people increase their new abilities requires support, permission to fail, patience, quick wins and celebrating success.

Reinforcement

Change will only be lasting if people keep using the new ways of working that they’ve learned.

To help embed new ways of doing or being so they become habits requires both positive and negative reinforcement. In other words, good behaviors need to be celebrated and rewarded and bad habits need to be challenged.

To get good at any new thing you need to just keep doing it and reinforcing it.

The World of Work Project View

The ADKAR model is a useful framework for considering how to deliver lasting change. The focus on individuals and their motivations is a key aspect of change, and this model reflects that well. This model is similar to several other models of change at a high level.

The challenge with most change models though is not in their theory but in their practice. Delivering lasting change takes concerted thought, planning, effort and often requires multiple complementing initiatives. Many organizations don’t feel they have the time to deliver change in this way.

In addition, leading change like this requires an aligned senior leadership team who understand the change process. Again, this is not always the case in reality.

Overall we think this is a helpful model to be aware of, though we prefer the simplicity of Lewin’s model and the detail of Kotter’s 8 step approach.

Sources and further reading

Where possible we always recommend that people read up on the original sources of information and ideas.

This post is based on the work of Jeff Hiatt. You can read more on the Prosci website as well as in the book: “Change Management“.

Feedback

If you see any errors on this page or have any feedback, please contact us.

Most popular

Most discussed

click to book a call

Booking a call button
Our newsletter, the WoW Mail, covers all things related to the World of Work and the World of Work Podcast. You can sign up HERE.