Change Management is really a form of customer service. As change management professionals, understanding how to integrate the needs and concerns of impacted groups, defines how successful a change will be. This is the message we need to convey to leaders and sponsors in the change project. It is a win-win for leaders as well, providing good service to staff and customers through the change and beyond ends up in good reviews. Research indicates that two of the top reasons CEOs get fired are from failing to manage changes well in their organization, and ignoring the needs and trends of their customers and staff.
I know the ADKAR (Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability, Reinforcement) model, a trademark tool from Prosci, has been around for a while, but it is one of the best tools I have come across that is both effective and intuitive when assessing what an impacted group needs. When I was working in Health Care for a continuous improvement program, I was asked to teach the ADKAR model to my peers from across the province. All of us were working with physicians and their staff on improving health care delivery in different areas. Although we worked with the same population, we worked in different communities with very different access issues and resource constraints.
The ADKAR model was a great “diagnostic” resource that could help every practitioner assess where their clients were at with a particular change, and develop ways to address where the client might be stuck. Although the challenges we were working through were difficult and complex, the tool was easy for everyone to understand. By the end of the 90-minute workshop, people left feeling more confident that they could better serve their clients through the various changes.
Over my career, teaching different leaders and professionals’ frameworks and tools to apply to their work, I have seen that the most effective ones are the ones that become habitual. If a tool is simple and easy to remember, it can be integrated into a daily practice or a regular check-in process. The ADKAR model is not just for change practitioners but for anyone involved in or leading a change project. It can be applied in a morning reflection before the day starts, by asking, “where are people at with this today?” And it can be included in a project team meeting or team huddle and discussed as a group. When we lead change, and manage change, our plans and interventions need to be adapted to our audience and customers needs. Our ability to assess those needs is often critical to success.
 Mark Murphy (2015). Leadership Styles Are Often Why CEOs Get Fired. https://www.forbes.com/sites/markmurphy/2015/07/16/leadership-styles-are-often-why-ceos-get-fired/?sh=28099934988a