The first step in the individual change process is establishing a clear understanding of why the change is happening.  Leading successful change starts with building awareness of the need for change. When awareness has been established, the next step for an individual is to make a personal decision to participate in the change.

Desire represents the willingness to support and engage in a change. Desire is ultimately about a personal choice that is influenced by the nature of the change and by personal circumstances.

Desire is often the most challenging ADKAR element to achieve.  Awareness enables people to understand the impacts and value of the future state, but creating more and more awareness will not result in desire. Continuing to focus on the reasons for change rather than translating those reasons into personal and organizational motivating factors can be discouraging and frustrating for employees.

Creating desire to change, by definition, is not under a leader’s direct control.  Change leaders can take definitive steps to influence desire, but each individual ultimately makes his or her own choice to support the change. Desire has been achieved when an individual genuinely says, “I will be part of this change.”

In a business context, influencing desire requires a change management strategy that matches the personal motivators of the impacted teams and leverages the influence of leaders in the organization.  Key business leaders act as sponsors of change. Managers and supervisors are coaches to employees during the change process. Incentives are aligned with new behaviors and employees are proactively engaged in the change process.

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