In our age of innovation and sophistication, I am always amazed by the power of the throw-back. We post old pictures on social media in honor of “throw-back Thursday.” We sing and dance along with throw-back songs (which, for me, is early nineties pop music). We look back at old year books or family photo albums. There’s a reason we love throw-backs: they feel comfortable and familiar, but they also take us back to our roots and our formative experiences. It’s a powerful thing to return to where we came from.
It’s for a similar reason that we decided to study the original purpose of the Prosci ADKAR Model in our recent Applications of ADKAR research study. We studied seven use cases of the ADKAR Model, including emerging uses such as measuring change outcomes and equipping senior leaders. But we also studied the original intention of the ADKAR Model: how to understand and influence individual change. While it is easy to be drawn to new and innovative approaches, hence the research study, it is also important to come back to original intent from time to time. That’s why we included the throw-back of “facilitating individual change” as a research deep dive.
Why Use the ADKAR Model for Facilitating Individual Change
At its foundation, the ADKAR Model is a powerful framework for understanding how change can happen with a single individual. It answers the question, “what outcomes must be present for successful, sustainable change to take hold in a single person?” When we understand what outcomes one team member (or family member or friend) needs to have in place, we can take practical steps to influence and help that individual achieve those outcomes. The ADKAR Model can be used personally, by viewing a change you are working through and identifying where and why you may be struggling. It can also be used to help evaluate change with other people: it provides a framework for coaching conversations and can help you pinpoint where a colleague, friend or direct report is stuck in the change process. From there, you can decide on targeted action steps.
What the Research Says
“The model fits nicely and naturally with a personal journey of change, irrespective of whether linked to a wider corporate change.” – Applications of ADKAR study participant
In our Applications of ADKAR research study, we asked users of the ADKAR Model to share why they used the model to facilitate change with an individual person, how they applied it, and what were the impacts of this application.
Click the image below to download all seven research reports on the use of the ADKAR Model, including this one which includes a case study of how one change practitioner used the ADKAR Model to help people in a health care organization adopt system and behavioral changes.
Susie Taylor is a passionate advocate of personal and organizational change. As a Change Advisor for Prosci, she partners with organizations to implement change management strategies that drive adoption and results while fostering a positive employee experience. She has a master's degree in applied positive psychology from the University of Pennsylvania, where she has also served as an instructor.