In essence, all the models of organizational change are similar because they facilitate the reordering of existing structures, practices, and rules. The main difference between them lies in the greater or smaller number of details and specific approaches to describing the process. I find Hiatt’s ADKAR model to be the most concise, and the method of introducing changes that it suggests to be very effective.
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What appeals to me most is that ADKAR arranges the change in a way that it eventually comes not from the top management but the employees. Apart from strategic planning and outlining targeted results, it requires a series of measures for preparing employees. Compared to other models, ADKAR is more difficult and time-consuming, but, in the end, it guarantees a smooth transition to the new desired position that is imposed not from the outside, but is born within the group of colleagues.
I like the approach when employees become active participants in the change, contribute to the common cause, and do not accept the new order passively. It gives an opportunity for more personal insights and ideas, possibly some unexpected and creative opinions and suggestions from workers who become involved in the process and support the initiative. However, there is a strong possibility that not all the employees would welcome and accept the changes, some of them might leave, but it is only natural.
Those who advocate the change actively should, as a result, become more loyal to the company, more conscious of their role in working processes, value their contribution, and that of their colleagues.
The aspect I see as the advantage of the ADKAR model also contains certain disadvantages, which might create additional difficulties in the process. Firstly, the top managers would need to find the right way and translate the necessity of certain changes, especially if they might not be approved by most of the employees. The creation and implementation of a changing view present the most important stage in the model because it forms the basis for the whole process, and the outcome of the initiative depends on the success of the initial work with the staff.
The model implies that employees should embrace the view that the company suggests, be proactive, and ready to participate in the process. They should not only be prepared for professional and personal growth but also be capable of working on it devotedly. Thus, according to the ADKAR model, the main part of the work is done not by the managers, but by the employees. It requires the managers to undertake additional psychological work with their employees to prepare the basement for the coming changes. Implementing this model would only be possible for the managers who have a strong personal and professional authority and enjoy the complete support of their staff.
The central idea of the ADKAR model is for employees to become the driving force of changes, given that the top management has enough expertise and personal authority to direct them to the achievement of targeted results. Thus, changes happen as a natural process, through the professional and personal transformation of each employee, and not through imposed commandments that might not find the approval of the employees. Such a gradual transition resembles natural evolution and guarantees long-term success and support among those who have personally participated in the pursuit of a common goal.