Change Management Tip: It’s All About the Individual

*ADKAR® and Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability, Reinforcement® are trademarks of Prosci, Inc., all rights reserved.


Change does not occur in organizations until each individual within the organization changes, but project teams and even change managers sometimes lose hold of that important fact while they are planning, measuring and tracking the details and collective trends about the project’s performance to time and budget.  It is important to focus on all of the work they are doing, such as scoping the project, determining resource needs, creating a work breakdown structure, conducting readiness assessments and creating communication plans. However, the fact still remains, that true success only comes from individuals adopting a new way of doing their work.   

A change model developed by Prosci outlines the steps individuals must take to make change happen.  The Prosci Model is ADKAR® and when applied to the individual, it looks and sounds like this:

  1. Awareness – I know why the change is needed
  2. Desire – I’ve made the personal decision to participate and support the change
  3. Knowledge – I know how to change and what to do after the change is in place
  4. Ability – I can demonstrate the skills and behaviors required by the change
  5. Reinforcement – I believe there are factors in place so the change will be sustained

A good way for a change practitioner to use ADKAR® is to encourage or even require managers to have face-to-face conversations with each of their individual direct reports affected by the change. Use coaching and leadership skills to help the individuals get what they need at each phase that will allow them to move to the next phase in the ADKAR® sequence.   

Contact the team at Change Management Communication Center if you need help coaching and leading individuals in your organization through change.