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This approach helps managers and individuals to pilot / appropriate change by identifying the actions to be carried out for each of the 5 letters of ADKAR.


The ADKAR model is a model of change management conceptualized by the American company Prosci in 1998 1 after researching 300 companies that have implemented profound changes.

This model is complementary to the approach of Kübler Ross in the sense that it forces us to think in terms of actions to be undertaken to drive change in all its phases and make it sustainable. The model can be used to :

  • Diagnose resistance to change.
  • Assist staff in transitional phases.
  • On a personal or team basis, create an effective action plan for change.

A for Acknowledgement

Step one, Let’s know we’ll change. The actions to take are :

  • Create knowledge of change, reason, goals. 
  • Identify the communication vectors, the messages to be used according to the target audience. 
  • Evaluating the ability to change: Individual, collective, at the company level.

D for Desire

Desire is what makes me personal, want to change. These reasons are of several kinds: Technical, Political, Cultural or Individual and are specific to each individual.

Two questions can be used :

  • WIIFM: What’s In It For Me  ?
  • WAMI: What’s Against My Interest ?


The actions to be carried out relating to the letter D are:

  • Identify individual sources of motivation.
  • Analyze the impacts of change at all levels.
  • Communicate the imperatives of change by highlighting the benefits: Business and individual.

K for Knowledge

These are the knowledge and skills that will have to be acquired, individually, to continue to do my job well once the change is made.

The actions to be carried out relating to the letter K are :

  • Perform structured and targeted communication. 
  • Deliver specific messages “How will the change affect me? ” to those affected.
  • Identify and prepare trainings: adapt the content, the support and the media used to the populations concerned.

A for Aptitude

This is where managers and leaders must fully play their roles if change is to take place and, above all, be sustainable. It’s about being able to assess the situation to initiate the change as an individual or group of people. 
The actions relating to the letter A are :

  • To evaluate the preparation and the predictive efficiency of the trainings.
  • Give the trainings and make an evaluation at the first session.
  • Define and adopt new behaviors.
  • Run messages and pre-implementation communication.
  • Coach employees, encourage them in their efforts to learn new skills and behaviors.

R for reinforce

These are all the actions that will make the change permanent.

The actions relating to the letter R are :

  • Execute the post-implementation communication: communicate about the first successes. 
  • Analyze the results of the pilot areas and implement the corrective actions. 
  • Evaluate and drive user acceptance.
  • Reinforce new behaviors through planned inspections and celebration of success.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of change management and do not hesitate to question yourself.

The tool of ADKAR

The tool below is the influence matrix that allows to position in a structured way the actions identified by the ADKAR approach. For each “ case “, we will note the + and – that we have, it will allow us more easily to deduce the corrective actions.


J. Hiatt (2006) – ADKAR a model for change in business, government and our community

M. Bacquet

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