The Four Noble Truths for Sponsors of Change

September 3, 2009
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  1. Sponsors play the most important role in the success, or failure, of change initiatives
    Whether you have decided to implement a new ERP system, restructure your organization, change your business model, break into a new market, or redesign business processes, sponsors play the most important role in the success, or failure, of change initiatives. Recognize that your active and visible sponsorship is the No. 1 contributor to successful change (Prosci Change Management Benchmarking Report, 2007).
  2. Failure to realize that change is neither free or easy is why change initiatives continue to fail – leading change takes practice
    As with any discipline, whether it is change management, leadership, project management, golfing, riding, meditating, whatever – it takes practice. Leading change effectively is a discipline, a skill to be developed. Change management is not just a communication plan or training plan – change management is the emotional awareness, the organizational savviness to understand how to get things done, to manage the people side of change. Initiatives do not happen until people on the ground embrace them; and that’s where change

  1. Sponsors play the most important role in the success, or failure, of change initiatives
    Whether you have decided to implement a new ERP system, restructure your organization, change your business model, break into a new market, or redesign business processes, sponsors play the most important role in the success, or failure, of change initiatives. Recognize that your active and visible sponsorship is the No. 1 contributor to successful change (Prosci Change Management Benchmarking Report, 2007).
  2. Failure to realize that change is neither free or easy is why change initiatives continue to fail – leading change takes practice
    As with any discipline, whether it is change management, leadership, project management, golfing, riding, meditating, whatever – it takes practice. Leading change effectively is a discipline, a skill to be developed. Change management is not just a communication plan or training plan – change management is the emotional awareness, the organizational savviness to understand how to get things done, to manage the people side of change. Initiatives do not happen until people on the ground embrace them; and that’s where change management comes in.“Effectiveness is a discipline. And like every discipline, effectiveness can be learned and must be learned.” (Peter F. Drucker, What Makes an Effective Executive, Harvard Business Review, June 2004).
  3. Managing the details and implementation of the change – find the right people for the job, create a challenge, supply coaching and motivation, and get out of the way
    Sounds simple. It is not. Trust is an enabler to speed. Point in the direction the change needs to go, find the best project leader and team members to design and implement the change, stay tied in as much or as little as needed, and trust. Trust and guide and course correct as necessary.
  4. You will need to communicate more than you think
    Communication studies have shown that ‘senders’ need to communicate messages 5 to 7 times before ‘receivers’ can hear, before they begin to internalize the message. Recall the game you played as a child where you sat in a circle and the first person whispered a message in the ear of the person sitting next to them. The message was then passed on to the next person, and so on. By the time the message reached the end of the circle and reported back to the group, the message was often light years from the original message. How are your messages being distorted? What are you doing to ensure your message represents your intent?