Individual change: Concept, Need, Importance21st March 2021
Individual change management is an understanding of how one person makes a change successfully. Whether at home, in the community or at work, individuals move through the change process in a predictable and expected path. Individual change management provides a framework for enabling one person to make a transition.
The role of the individual in the overall change process is one such factor that is gaining increasing consideration. As after all, while a new tool can be implemented on schedule and on budget it does not automatically begin generating value for an organisation until it becomes adopted and individuals begin to use it with the required level of proficiency.
With the growing recognition for enterprise change management the need to understand the change management capabilities of the organisation as whole are evident but without a solid understanding of how individuals perceive and succeed in changing there are a number of associated risks.
One of the biggest risks is the idea that the implementation process of enterprise change management is ‘recipe-driven’: a list of actions or requirements that can be simply checked off. As it is important that each and every individual achieves a successful change in behaviour and/or attitudes, focus must be given to the progress of every employee in their transition and this requires continuous measurement.
Increased communication, although one particular indicator of enterprise change management capabilities, does not ensure an organisation can expect to send X-X-number of emails about a change and not face any resistance; these emails must also contain considerations of the individual and indeed emails may not be an individual’s preferred method of receiving messages. Increasing communications activities in an unplanned, unstructured and intangible way is evidence of an organisation ‘doing’ change management without including a focus of what they were trying to achieve or why.
The next biggest consequence of not giving consideration to individual change management is the increasing difficulty in determining when success has been achieved. Time scales and budget are success factors of project implementation; but determining how successful the people side of the change has been, requires consideration of what is expected from each individual in order to generate the true value of a project; ensuring real acceptance, adoption of new ways of working with measurable proficiency.
Desire to Participate in and Support the Change
- What are the personal motivators and organizational drivers that would cause me to support the change?
Knowledge on How to Change
- What knowledge, skills and behaviors are required during and after the change is implemented?
Ability to Implement Required Skills and Behaviors
- How do I demonstrate the ability to do my job the new way?
- What barriers may inhibit me making the change?
Reinforcement to Sustain the Change
- What will make the change stick?
- What are the rewards, recognition, incentives and consequences?
ADKAR is an individual model, so it describes the change process from the perspective of one impacted employee whose job is being changed as a result of a project or initiative. Whether it is a new process, a new technology, a new job role or a new behavior, a person makes the change successfully when they have awareness, desire, knowledge, ability and reinforcement. If the change impacts 1,000 people, then the change will only happen when all 1,000 people have awareness, desire, knowledge, ability and reinforcement. An individual change management model is crucial for effective change management because of the reality that change must happen one individual at a time. Each impacted employee must move from their own current state to their own future state.
ADKAR is used in a number of ways:
- Making sense of change
- Guiding change management plans
- Measuring progress
- Diagnosing gaps
- Developing corrective actions
- Enabling managers and supervisors
Ensures a Match Between Requirements and Results
Through change management, you are aware of how to effectively equip and support people who will drive the change and bring it to life. You also have a process to have the right people in place to ensure success.
Increases Probability of Project Success
Research is clear that the better an organization is on change management the more likely project objectives are met. Harvard Business school research shows that initiatives with excellent change management are six times more likely to meet objectives than those with poor change management.
Solves problems reduces operation cost, helps seize emerging opportunities, or aligning work with strategy.
Helps in Remaining Profitable and Relevant
By remaining competitive through innovation companies can drive sales for their products. We no longer leave in a world changes occurs after 3 years. Businesses are facing complex and fast changes than ever before. An organization must, therefore, apply change management to enable it to build competencies that grow the organization’s ability to change as soon as they need arises. Only through changes can you remain relevant today. For example, social media has really changed how businesses operate so you have to change and incorporate it into your day to day operations.