Use ADKAR and change your life for the better in 5 simple steps!


We all want our work and lives to be better. However, even seemingly small improvements such as going to bed 20 minutes earlier can be difficult. 

To encourage you, read how Mrs Tan initiated and managed change in her life, in a way that is similar to the ADKAR Model of change management widely used in the business world. 

Mrs Tan is a 65-year-old retiree with Type II diabetes. She has quarterly appointments at SGH Diabetes & Metabolism Centre (DMC) for her doctor to monitor her condition. Like most patients of chronic diseases, she also needs a regular supply of medicines to control her blood sugar level. 

1. Awareness

During her last visit to the clinic, Mrs Tan complained to other patients about the long queue at the pharmacy. A staff heard her woes and told Mrs Tan she could use SGH’s Medication Delivery Service (MDS) via the Health Buddy mobile app to beat the queue.

Once she was informed of this option, Mrs Tan wasted no time to suss out the new service.

ADKAR tip: Always keep your eyes, ears and mind open so you can avail yourself to opportunities of change.

2. Desire

Though she did not consider herself tech-savvy, Mrs Tan wanted to make the change The thought of being able to head home right after consultation and spend more time on her hobby of sewing motivated her to try MDS, even though she was unfamiliar with app-based self-help services.
ADKAR tip: Provide yourself with a clear reason for the change you want to effect. This will keep you going when you encounter obstacles during your journey of change.

3. Knowledge

Mrs Tan brought home from the clinic a pamphlet about MDS. With the pamphlet, a pen, notebook, hand phone and a mug of tea, she started her mini crash course about the app. With the pamphlet as a step-by-step guide, using the app was not as hard as Mrs Tan had imagined. Twenty minutes later, she received her order confirmation via email; and three working days later, her medicine arrived at her door. 

The pamphlet equipped Mrs Tan with the know-how to order medicine via the app, helping her to be successful on her first attempt.

ADKAR tip: Do some research and learn from best practices before diving in to increase your success rate in change management. 

4. Ability 

In Mrs Tan’s case, her open-mindedness and patience enabled her to climb up the learning curve of  using a self-help app to order medicines. 

ADKAR tip: Patience and resilience are important abilities in change management.

5. Reinforcement 

Mrs Tan ventured further, trying out other services on the Health Buddy app. She successfully made an e-payment and managed to book an appointment at DMC online. Then she sketched a small milestone table in her notebook to record her achievements.

By exploring other functions within the app, and tracking her own progress via a milestone table, Mrs Tan sustained her switch to using self-help apps.

ADKAR tip: There is no better way to sustain a change effort than by venturing further and recording your milestones. Looking at the milestones achieved will enable you to appreciate the benefit and feel the sense of reward that comes with the change. This positive reinforcement will motivate you to stick to this new change.

Just like how it helped Mrs Tan initiate and manage her change, let the ADKAR model help you in the daunting path of change, one step at a time. 

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