What are the 7 principles of change management?

Structured change management approach

Structured change management approach

A structured change management approach is advisable to avoid shortcutting the change process. In our business transformation trajectories, we use the “ADKAR” methodology of Prosci. ADKAR stands for Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability, and Reinforcement.


The first step to enable change is to create awareness of the need for change. Desire is the second step and represents the motivation and choice to support and participate in a change. Knowledge is the third step and represents how to implement change and includes an understanding of how to change. The presence of knowledge is often insufficient by itself a; therefore, the ability is the fourth step in which the capability to implement the change is demonstrated. Reinforcement is the final step and prevents individuals from slipping back into old behaviors. It also stimulates continuous improvement and adaptability.

2. Communication on the change and the need for change on a regular and transparent basis

To assist the change process, a solid communication plan that takes into account all stakeholders and message timing is required. You can utilize various communication channels, including emails, newsletters, presentations, and face-to-face interactions, to explain the why and effects of change. When there is a significant shift to be made, face-to-face communication is preferred over other types of communication. According to research, it is beneficial to involve employees in the change process and to communicate information frequently and early.

3. Resource distribution

It is an undeniable reality that transformation initiatives with allocated funds and resources do better than those without. Before attempting to implement change, it is advisable to take the time to plan resource allocation. You’ll need information, criticism, and statistics to do this so that you can utilize the resources at your disposal to their fullest potential. While businesses all over the world use a variety of common business analysis techniques, sometimes the simplest course of action is to let your instincts guide your spending.

Risks associated with ineffectively managing the human aspect of transformation

We can anticipate poorer productivity, active and passive resistance, negative word-of-mouth, the departure of cherished colleagues, and the inadequate or improper use of new procedures, systems, and technologies when we fail to handle the people’s side of change successfully. People will come up with workarounds and eventually go back to the previous method of doing things. You should carefully consider the people-side issues to avoid this.

4. Set a good example

Rewards and instructions can only go so far in bringing about organizational change. Because a chart instructs them to, people won’t start cooperating more. The fact that managers received an email on a new plan won’t inspire them to start communicating with their teams better. Making sure that leaders’ behaviors reflect the direction of change initiatives is the most important part of change management. Senior leaders must model the attitudes and behaviors they want staff members to exhibit since people won’t accept change until they experience its results. Never undervalue the advantages of a “trick-down” strategy.

Everyone in the business has unofficial leaders who other employees look up to, so it’s not just management that should dress the role. They could be a very helpful front desk agent, a meticulous project manager, or a seasoned field supervisor. These people can serve as change ambassadors and hasten the process of transformation. Once they have been found, let them know that they have been seen since a bit of self-confidence in one’s effort can motivate others.

5. Employee engagement, participation, and resistance management

People go through an emotion curve with alternating positive and negative emotions or reactions. They show varied behavior in each phase of the change. People need to say goodbye to the old situation and become comfortable with the new situation. Your success rate will largely increase when individuals are given guidance throughout this curve. You have to realize that individuals are at different points of the emotion curve at a certain moment of your change initiatives. So it is advisable to adjust your management style and communication accordingly.

Leading people, leading change

Managing resistance often is seen as difficult to deal with, because it can be tough and confronting. Resistance can also be seen as a sign of commitment and passion. You should embrace resistance because it provides an opportunity to start a dialogue and to identify the obstacles that prevent change from happening. You can also minimize resistance by actively involving employees in the change process. Participation creates passion and commitment to change.

6. Identify the cultural impact

The cornerstone of change management is workplace culture. A workforce’s shared values, attitudes, and beliefs create the company culture. It may be necessary to combine two distinct cultures as part of change projects. One of the main difficulties in change management, assuming you aren’t working with a new organization, is a cultural shift. It’s sometimes preferable to take lessons from a deeply ingrained culture than attempt to change it. Discover the thoughts and motivations of others and what “ticks” them off. Utilize the current culture to develop strategies for encouraging change; pinpoint the facets of the culture that are amenable to change and focus your efforts there initially. Then be concerned with those cultural elements that are opposed to change.

 7. Engagement with and support from middle management

Accountability for managing the people’s side of change should rest not only with executive sponsors but also with middle managers. Middle managers can often make or break successful change. They can be the most difficult to convince of the need for change and can be a ‘layer of loam’ instead of a fertile ground for change. That’s why the change management team needs to get executives and middle managers on board early on in the change process. As shown in the picture below, executives and middle managers can positively influence the “ADKAR scores” when they fulfill their change management roles. For example, when they effectively communicate they will positively influence the awareness of the need for change. The role of the change management team is to engage with and support executives and middle managers in effectively leading change initiatives.

Change management roles


Project and initiative achievements require more than just communication and training. When you assist employees in making their adjustments, you achieve more successful results. You can have more adoption and usage, happier employees, a higher project ROI, and improved organizational agility. Understanding the five fundamental principles of change management is the first step.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: