What does it take to make change a success?
While factors including new technologies, increased competition, market volatility, uncertain economies and increased regulation continue to drive the need for organizational change, the focus of change management today is on the broader impacts of change, particularly people.
Change Management is a structured approach for ensuring that changes are thoroughly and smoothly implemented, and that the lasting benefits of change are achieved. Cultivating not only acceptance, but support, is a necessary component for successfully managing nearly any change of change management within an enterprise.
More likely than not at some point in the change management journey, people will need to change for the project to be a success.
All the people involved with the proposed change - stakeholders - must be on board and committed for this project to be a success. When employees see that the leaders in their organization have taken the time to develop a change management plan that considers their wants and needs, they are bound to perform better and get more involved in the transition.
The Change Management Champion
When aligning a change management strategy closely with an enterprise's internal project teams, it is essential to rely upon a change champion to secure a smooth transition and successful adoption of change within an organization.
A typical change management strategy covers four main components that address the need of the enterprise - all of which benefit from the coordination and dedication of a true change champion.
- Stakeholder Management
- Organization Alignment
- Communications & Engagement
- Training & Performance Support
A change champion is a change management advocate with a vision for what the process of change will look like, and what milestones need to be reached to achieve the end goal. A change champion is in charge of the transition and provides oversight to assess the success of the project during each critical stage, as well as providing ongoing motivation and support to individuals and teams to help the enterprise achieve its desired change goals.
A change champion will display eight key traits:
- Enthusiasm and willingness to learn new things!
- Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal!
- Coaching and facilitation skills - like a superhero!
- Interpersonal skills; the ability to build rapport and motivate individuals!
- Effective listening skills!
- Ability to represent the needs and interests of all functional or business areas!
- Unwavering energy and leadership efforts - throughout the change cycle!
- Ability to plan and execute activities with creativity and specificity!
A properly implemented change management employee engagement strategy takes key people within an organization. A change champion is effective at maintaining an authoritative, yet supportive and inspirational, prescence within a company going through change. eadership, direction, project teams, align internal project teams.
Change champions are the ultimate change agents.
The front line of defense in protecting and propelling a change initiative, change champions are an integral, leadership component of any change project.
Change champions are individuals within an organization that clearly see the organization's vision for change and demonstrate a desire to actively advocate for and facilitate the required change.
Change champions never give up. They never surrender to obstacles, attitudes or obstructive circumstances. They are the ultimate corporate cheerleaders, believing and rallying for all of the organizational and performance opportunities that await an enterprise as it powers through a time of change.