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Explore the Levels of Change Management

Equipping Senior Leaders with the ADKAR Model

Written by Tim Creasey

2 Mins



Since the beginning iterations of Prosci’s change management research, we’ve known about the importance of senior leader engagement on a project. Nearly every change manager has navigated the tension between understanding the importance of senior leader engagement on a project and the difficulty of getting this necessary engagement. What is more, it is not enough to have senior leaders involved in a change project. We must ensure that they are equipped with the tools that they need to be effective, active, and visible leaders throughout the project.

With its individual and results orientation, the Prosci ADKAR Model is a uniquely valuable tool to equip senior leaders to engage with a project.  It not only helps senior leaders be more effective but is also a tool that senior leaders appreciate and find easy to use. In Prosci’s Applications of ADKAR research effort, change practitioners shared their experience, insights and advice on equipping senior leaders with the ADKAR Model (read the full research report here).

What the research says

Prosci’s Applications of ADKAR research effort explored seven uses of the ADKAR Model, including equipping senior leaders. The quotes below from study participants shed light on the applications of and results of equipping senior leaders with the ADKAR Model.

We held a specific PROSCI-led half [day] course for the senior leadership. We made Change Management one of the themes of our Annual Leadership meetings where we explained the ADKAR methodology. We have embedded the assessments in to [sic] our project’s planning phases so that senior leaders understand change dynamics prior to approving or launching projects.”


“Immediate mindset change [for senior leaders] in terms of how to prioritize change programs, identify those with the most/least chance of success and a common framework/language to describe change programs and methodologies.”


“The steps of first holding awareness even if things aren't certain, getting ahead of the change, and communicating clearly helps build trust and mitigate the rumor mill. It [the ADKAR Model] had a lot of buy-in because they were concerned about the anxiety levels of employees.

Research has shown that senior leader involvement in a project is critical for that project’s success. Equipping senior leaders with the ADKAR Model can help increase their ability to positively impact a change. It provides them with a common language for talking about change to a variety of different groups and individuals. Further, the model can help senior leaders understand and identify the aspects of the change process that they have the greatest potential of influencing.  Finally, it lays out key milestones that seniors leaders can speak to and work around during the life of the project.

What This Means for You

The full research deep dive includes additional insights into why participants equipped their senior leaders with the ADKAR Model, what resonated with senior leaders, and how it was introduced. lick the image below to download the deep dive on equipping senior leaders with the ADKAR Model for inspiration and examples, as well as a story of how one organization used the model to help their leaders refocus and re-prioritize their work.

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