We are dog lovers in our house. Nothing beats having something be excited to see you come back every time you leave a room. All of the dogs we’ve had have been rescue dogs. We’ve worked with different groups, some of which had pretty lengthy and stringent requirements and processes to adopt a pet. While that was frustrating at times, we always kept the perspective that those folks really care for the dogs and just want to make sure that we would be good caretakers.
Adoption requires commitment
They made sure we were aware of the responsibilities of caring for that particular dog, even though we had adopted others. The lengthy process probably weeded out those who weren’t committed. They made sure we truly desired to have this dog be a part of our family. They made sure we were knowledgeable about the dog’s breed and unique history. Some even visited our home to make sure we had the space, capacity, and ability to care for the dog. A couple of groups came to visit after a few months to reinforce their faith in the decision to place the dog with us and to reinforce our commitment as well.
Who knew that dogs could teach us so much about adoption and change management?
Some of the same principles that apply to adopting a dog apply when adopting new technical tools or new business processes. Change can be hard but starting with a firm commitment to embrace positive and necessary change (no matter how difficult it is or how many times it pees on your rug) is crucial.
One definition from Microsoft of adoption is:
“Deep, habitual usage that delivers tangible value to the employees, a line of business, and the organization.”
Adoption of a dog requires a firm commitment of heart and mind with eyes wide open. It’s a long-term commitment that requires knowledge and care, but it is also a commitment that can bring lots of joy and satisfaction. The ProSci ADKAR methodology of awareness, desire, knowledge, ability, and reinforcement seems to fit well for canine AND technical change.
Sophisticated tools that can make life easier can just appear as a burden if employees are not fully prepared to use them. That’s why deep, habitual, and purposeful adoption is just as important to a rollout of new technology as getting all the technical bits and pieces exactly right.
Your new technology may not lick your face in the morning, but effective change management, embraced early and earnestly, can help you get the most value and satisfaction from your adoption.