1. Sponsoring Successful Change: Your Role as Change Agent
2. Sponsoring Successful Change: What is Sponsorship?
3. Sponsoring Successful Change: Sponsorship—Does it Matter?
4. Sponsoring Successful Change: What are the Keys to Effective Sponsorship?
5. Sponsoring Successful Change: What Does Success Look Like?
6. Sponsoring Successful Change: What Kind of Sponsor Would You Be?
Do your job responsibilities include leading people and fostering change? Then you know that change and the need for it are constants in your life. What worked yesterday probably won’t tomorrow. Some new idea has disrupted the way things used to be and you need to keep up or, more importantly, get ahead. Bellwether companies like JC Penney and Sears have been struggling for years to figure out how to continue being relevant after years of success. It appears every day as if they haven’t yet figured it out and their futures are increasingly in doubt. Iconic industrial giants like General Electric are facing this struggle now for perhaps the first time. Change is coming at us more and more rapidly. Even though you may have effectively implemented some innovation six months ago, that was so yesterday.
The point is that change is ever present and more importantly, inevitable. How you handle that change is what will ultimately determine success. Questions to consider include: What’s on your to-do list? What are you doing about it? Have you assembled a coherent, comprehensive plan to respond? How are you going to implement it? What is your timeline? Who’s going to lead it? Do you have buy-in from the person you are going make your assigned project leader? Have expectations been clearly defined? What will success look like?
Frequently, the most efficient and effective way to implement change is through the use of an external team of experts. In large health systems, that may be a team of specialists from within the organization. In private practices, smaller systems, or those who lack that expertise elsewhere in their system, it may be an external consulting team. If you have used either of these approaches with your current plan or are about to for an upcoming project, there are a few points you should understand that are key to leading the change team successfully.
Change is inevitable and, in today’s market, required to keep any organization relevant. The first priority is to understand and commit to your responsibility for change sponsorship. It is a role whose importance is frequently forgotten and, when it isn’t forgotten, is not always understood. Hence, the best planned project can languish. As the leader, YOU are responsible for your team and ensuring they follow through with your vision. You must stay focused on the end result and maintain the importance of the change you are requesting. Your team will look to you for guidance – be steadfast and keep your eye on the goal. In the absence of this focus, any plan will fail.
This is the first segment of a multi-part series on SPONSORSHIP. Check back soon as we explore what sponsorship is, why it matters, the keys to effective sponsorship, measuring success, and, last, asking you what kind of sponsor you might be on the next project you lead.