Making Change is About You!

December 12, 2016


Let’s face it, you need to make a change (not your organisation – you)


So, you know you need to change your job or maybe quit smoking, perhaps drop a few extra kilos or you want to learn a new skill. But, how do you get your head around making the change when you feel as though you can’t even get started.  Understanding change is about the individual. Going through change is a process, not an event, and at times, is a challenging one. Let’s not forget a very important factor – change is about people. It’s an incredibly personal process impacted by so many variables:

  • your values, principles, and beliefs

  • emotional well-being

  • the environment you’re in and what’s influencing you at the time

  • how you’ve experienced change in the past

  • if you have adequate information

  • if you have the skills and ability to undertake the change.


Everyone changes at a different pace. 


Whether it is you going through the change or someone you know, being able to understand change from an individual’s perspective is a valuable skill. Prosci® is a change management methodology that is recognised for its pragmatic approach to managing change. A key differentiator of Prosci’s® methodology is its recognition that people are individuals and will therefore experience change at their own pace. After all, have you ever seen an organisation successfully implement sustainable change by using a standard, one-size fits all approach? It just doesn’t work because we are dealing with humans – individuals.


A practical tool to work through the change


Prosci’s ADKAR® model is a practical goal-orientated diagnostic tool designed to help understand the process individuals go through to change. Let’s see how it works.


As an example we will use losing weight. ADKAR® has five elements as follows:

  1. Awareness: list the reasons you believe this change is necessary. Example: Are you aware of the need to lose weight? The excess weight is impacting my health, my relationships, and I am feeling tired.

  2. Desire: list the factors or consequences (good and bad) that create a desire to change. This is about the ‘WIIFM’ – what’s in it for me? You have to make a personal decision to engage in the change based on your personal motivations. Example: Do you have the personal motivation to lose weight? I will look better, I will have more energy, my clothes will fit better, I will feel healthier.

  3. Knowledge: list the skills and knowledge needed for the change, both during and after the transition. Example: Do you know how to safely lose weight? What is your current health status, what foods to eat, what lifestyle changes are necessary eg. exercise.

  4. Ability: Considering the skills and knowledge listed above, evaluate your ability to perform or act in the new way. Are there any barriers inhibiting your ability? Is there special support needed eg. training, mentoring, coaching etc.? Example: Can you put your knowledge into practice? you might need support from a dietician or personal trainer.

  5. Reinforcement: List the reinforcements that will help to retain the change. Are incentives in place to help make the change stick? Are there incentives not to change? Example: ongoing medical assessments, weight and health monitoring, new clothes.


Have a go!


Consider a change you might be close to, one you are experiencing personally or a change you are having difficulty facilitating in another person. When testing this tool, be sure you select a change you have been trying to make happen that is not working, regardless of your continued efforts. To measure where you’re up to, and key areas you need to focus on, create an ADKAR® profile for the change. On a scale of one (eg. no engagement) to five (eg. complete engagement), rate yourself for each of the five elements. Remember, these ratings are subjective. The first element where you rece