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Some projects fail, while others succeed. What I think needs to be present for a project to be successful all boils down to a simple framework for understanding change at an individual level – ADKAR principles, which stands for Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability, and Reinforcement. These principles are applied to projects here at ThreeWill. In addition, they can also be applied to a project like flattening the curve in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Sure, some projects that did not follow ADKAR were successful; however, by and large, they are the exception and not the rule.

ADKAR Principles Relating to Flattening the Curve

Awareness – there is no doubt, the world understood the importance and implications associated with “flattening the curve”

Desire – those in the high-risk group for severe illness from the Coronavirus strongly supported the flattening; however, for those that were less impacted, the decision to support and participate in the flattening was met with an alarming amount of resistance

Knowledge – the information shared by the CDC confirmed the “how” on preventing the spread of the virus including: social distancing, not touching your face, washing your hands frequently, and covering your nose and mouth with a mask

Ability – execution of the change was to shelter-in-place worldwide as well as implementing the “how” on preventing the spread

Reinforcement – sustainment of the change was strengthened by the data and visible evidence of “flattening the curve”

Things have not yet returned to “normal” as of this writing, unfortunately. But it is evident that ADKAR principles play an integral role in “flattening the curve” during the pandemic. I believe that they will continue to do so as the “new norm” evolves in the coming months.


For more information on how ThreeWill can assist your organization with Adoption and Change Management or how to create a pandemic response request workflow, visit the following links:


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