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Using the Six Sources of Influence Model to Drive Adoption

Sep 30, 2019 by Nigel Williams

In my last blog, I examined the role of Change Management systems can play in driving effective adoption programs and projects.

According to Microsoft’s comprehensive guide to adoption, “successful adoption of new technology requires behavior change. And change can be hard.”   

Not every organization has adopted a change management system, but that doesn’t mean you can’t bring change management and behavioral thinking to adoption.  This can be accomplished by using one of the many change management models and tools available. 

Read more: how to engage employees during change

practical behavioral tool I have found useful is the Six Sources of Influence Model. This useful model provides a way to ensure that your plan addresses both the user’s ability and motivation to adopt at multiple levels. The six sources are derived from thsplit between ability and motivation at a personal, social (peer group) and structural (organizational) level.  These are the six sources: 

Motivation  Ability 
1. Personal Motivation – Make the undesirable desirable  2. Personal Ability – Surpass your limits 
3. Social Motivation – Harness Peer Pressure  4. Social Ability – Find Strength in Numbers 
5. Structural Motivation – Design Rewards and Demand Accountability  6. Structural Ability – Change the Environment 

The best way to use the tool is to map out a set of questions you need to answer to in each section and work through them.  Once you have gone through that exercise you can then start to devise strategies in each of the six sections.  You can find an example of this approach in this article and I have developed an example for Source 4: Social Ability below.   

Source Social Ability – Find Strength in Numbers 
  • Do colleagues provide support to each other by sharing their experiences? 
  • In what ways can employee experiences be shared?  How could this be expanded? 
  • Is the information available readily shareable?  Is sharing actively encouraged? 
  • Is there a social collaboration channel/community available? 
  • Are mentors and/or coaches available? 
  • Can employees seek assistance in a way that does not highlight their lack of knowledge? 
  • Facilitate and encourage the ability of employees to share their experiences. 
  • Ensure all relevant information available is shareable and encourage active sharing through a social collaboration channel/community 
  • Establish a mentorship and/or coaching program 
  • Provide the facility for employees to seek assistance discretely without highlighting their lack of knowledge 

It’s important to understand that you do not need six winning strategies to drive change (and adoption) more effectively.  One or two effective strategies can make a substantial difference to the adoption effort.