Willing Isn’t Enough; Able Drives Adoption


Willing Isn’t Enough; Able Drives Adoption

We’ve progressed through the first three stages of the ADKAR journey – Awareness, Desire, and Knowledge – and your employees and other stakeholders are committed to the change. They’re enthusiastic about moving forward. Congratulations. Now what? We’ve reached the next stage in the journey: Ability.

Your workforce may be fully informed about and committed to a particular change. But without the ability to follow through, their ultimate adoption isn’t a certainty. They may be “willing” to execute on that commitment. But you need to ensure that they are “able.” This isn’t a trivial exercise. If stakeholders aren’t provided with the ability to support a change, they will abandon It quickly.

So what do we mean when we reference “ability?” It means any type of support that is going to give your workforce the wherewithal to follow through on their commitment to push through a specific change. It might mean training. It might mean tools. It might mean an ongoing flow of information that provides necessary context.

This stage in the journey requires an understanding of your workforce and other stakeholders and what they will need to make the change a reality. It starts with a thorough skills assessment to gauge where your stakeholders are vs. where they will need to be.

  • What skills do they currently possess?
  • What skills will they need to adopt the change?
  • Where – and how wide – are the gaps?
  • What is needed to bridge them? With which audiences?
  • When will they need these skills?
  • How can we impart these skills?

Answering these questions with specifics provides the basis for a training/skill-building plan intended to drive the appropriate training and tools to the right audiences at the optimal time in the change process. Depending on the breadth and complexity of the change, this type of assessment may need to be done across multiple groups of employees or other stakeholders, with variations to be expected group by group, and a training plan that matches the varied requirements and appropriate timeframes.