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Understanding the change curve in digital transformation: ADKAR model

Picture of Elena Díaz
Elena Díaz
| 14 June, 2024

Digital transformation is a phenomenon that affects all organizations, regardless of their size, sector, or location. However, it is not just about incorporating new technologies; it involves a profound change in the way people work, communicate, and collaborate within organizations. So, how do we face new challenges while dealing with resistance to change?

In this context, change management becomes essential to understand and effectively address the intrinsic complexities of any change process. The ADKAR model is based on five phases that describe the change process from an individual and human perspective:

  • Awareness Phase: The initial spark
  • Desire Phase: Transforming awareness into motivation
  • Knowledge Phase: The power of information
  • Ability Phase: Training as the key to success
  • Reinforcement Phase: Maintaining momentum

Let’s take a closer look at each of these phases and how we can apply them in the context of the Digital Workplace.

Awareness Phase

The starting point in any change process. In this phase, it is essential to raise awareness among teams about the need for change. This involves identifying the objectives to be achieved and communicating them clearly and transparently. It is not just about saying what will be done, but also why it will be done. What benefits will the change bring to the organization and employees? What risks are involved? What are the expectations regarding each person’s role? These are some of the questions we must answer to generate an initial spark that ignites interest and curiosity about the change.

Desire Phase

Once we have created awareness about the change, the next step is to cultivate motivation and connect the change objectives with individual and organizational benefits, thus creating a collective will to move forward. To do this, we must involve employees in the change process, listen to their opinions, address their concerns, recognize their contributions, and value their efforts. We must also show them how the change will help improve their work experience, productivity, satisfaction, and professional development. In this way, we will transform awareness into desire and generate active commitment to the change.

Knowledge Phase

With desire in motion, the next step is to provide professionals with the resources and training necessary to acquire the essential knowledge to adapt to the change. This involves offering them information about the new tools, processes, and methodologies to be implemented, as well as providing learning spaces where they can openly discuss any doubts that arise. Additionally, we must ensure that the information is accessible, up-to-date, and personalized according to each employee’s needs and preferences. In this way, we will harness the power of information as a driver of change.

Ability Phase

With information in mind, we move on to training teams to acquire the necessary skills to carry out the change. Here, practice is key to consolidating learning and overcoming any difficulties that may arise. To do this, we must provide constant feedback, continuous support, and personalized guidance. We must also foster a culture of collaborative learning, where employees can share their experiences, doubts, and solutions. In this way, we will ensure they feel capable and confident to face the change successfully.

Reinforcement Phase

Finally, we reach the phase where we consolidate the change and make it sustainable over time. To achieve this, it is necessary to implement strategies to reinforce and celebrate the successes achieved, as well as to prevent and correct any setbacks or resistance that may arise. Some of these practices include recognizing individual performance, measuring and communicating the results obtained, and promoting continuous improvement. In this way, we will maintain the momentum of change and integrate it into the organizational culture.As we can see, the ADKAR model offers us a practical guide to address digital transformation from a human perspective. It is important to identify and understand the questions, concerns, and motivations of people at each phase and adjust as effectively as possible to their needs. Only then can we ensure that employees become active agents of change, perceiving it as an opportunity rather than a threat.Embracing digital transformation is an exciting journey that requires a clear vision and a solid strategy. Are you ready to embark on it? Let’s act together!

Elena Díaz

Change Management Consultant & Adoption Specialist at Raona – My main objective is to guide companies and their employees in adapting to the changes experienced by the organization, both in technological and cultural terms. Also, accompanying employees in the transition to the digital era has become essential, promoting the proper use of digital tools to optimize their performance and enrich their work experience.

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