Study after study shows that strong sponsorship is the number one characteristic of successful transformation.
From a PMI Study: “Effective project sponsors use their influence within an organization to actively overcome challenges by communicating the project’s alignment to strategy, removing roadblocks, and driving organizational change. With this consistent engagement and support, project momentum will stay steady and success is more likely.” *
Let’s talk about how this translates into value for the organization. The bottom line is that greater success is achieved when MORE employees adapt to the transformation FASTER, and at greater levels of ABILITY, or what I like to call DEEPER. Simply put – MORE-FASTER-DEEPER.
More employees. In any transformation there are early adopters and laggards. As a sponsor, you want to find out who the laggards are and work to enroll them in the transformation sooner. You can do this through formal business readiness assessments to determine where there are pockets of slow adoption, identify the benefits to those groups, and determine ways to engage them with the transformation.
Faster adoption. When it comes to transformational change, there is no reason to wait to enroll employees in the change. Step out early with communications about the benefits to increase awareness. Address resistance head-on to clarify messaging and provide mechanisms for employees to engage early with the transformation, such as focus groups, town halls, and listening sessions.
Greater ability. Early adoption is key. Address resistance early on. Involve employee groups by helping with messaging, education and training development. Train employees to be advocates for the change. All of this will enable them to understand the transformation and help drive the implementation.
Call to action: when considering your leadership as a sponsor, ask yourself these questions and devise action plans accordingly:
- Am I reaching every employee that needs to hear about this transformation?
- Are we moving as fast as we can? What groups are not moving as fast as they could? Are there resisters?
- Are employees as enrolled as they could be? Are they developing necessary skills quickly?
Dedicated to your profitable transformation,
(*) Pulse of the Profession – 2018, Project Management Institute. Page 6.