Knowledge is power.
And in the hands of employees who have been asked to implement a significant change, it is the engine of that change.
Knowledge occupies the space in the center of Prosci’s ADKAR model of individual change for good reason. It is the hinge on which successful change efforts turn. Here’s why:
If an organization has hit the right notes on Awareness and Desire, it will have a workforce that knows change is coming and when, and is on board with it, but has yet to be briefed on the specific roles they will play and where they will contribute to the broader scenario of change, much like a sprinter who is ready to run a race but doesn’t yet know which direction to run.
Once knowledge has been added, employees can move to support the change effectively.
At the Knowledge stage, employees learn “how to change”, which may include learning a new role, understanding new processes and where they fit within them, and training to acquire new skills. This is why training assessments and strategies play such an important role in an overall Change Management effort. Assessing where training fits with which groups of employees takes not only an understanding of what those employees need to know to implement the change, but what they know and are able to do before the change.
Remember, not every employee changes at the same pace. For some, knowledge of what to do may require nothing more than a simple pivot that is easily mastered. For others, change may require learning an entirely new role.
Without the proper training and skill-building delivered to the right audiences at the right time, organizations experience lower than desired utilization of new processes and systems, incorrect use, abandonment, and reversion back to old systems or processes, all of which spell death to a planned change.