Change Leadership: Are We Getting What We Need from Sponsors?

Posted by Paula Alsher on Mon, Apr 14, 2014 @ 02:26 PM

On Tuesday, April 22 we are holding a complimentary webinar on "Sponsorship: Why You Gotta Have It. What to Do to Get It."  First of all, why are doing another webinar on Sponsorship? Quite simply, it's because there is nothing as important to project success as Sponsorship.  And unfortunately, there is nothing as problematic for Change Agents than securing lasting, active Sponsors! Leadership During Change

This is borne out by the comments made by individuals from all types of companies who have registered for the webinar.  Here are just a few examples:

  • "Our Sponsors view their role as more of a figurehead/passive voice
     instead of being accountable for results and benefits."
  • "I need practical strategies to get Sponsors to show up, and not just sign off on the change strategy."
  • "We need ways to engage Sponsors for on-going, active and visible support."
  • We need to convince Sponsors that they need to examine the way they are playing a Sponsor role, and re-define it."

So if you are thinking that you're the only Change Agent struggling to get the Sponsorship you need for your project, whether it is transformational change, business as usual--whether it is enterprise-wide or just in one area of the organization, at least you can take comfort in knowing you are certainly not alone!

In the webinar we'll be answering three critical questions:

  1. What does active, visible Sponsorship look like?
  2. How do you manage large-scale changes like business transformation, healthcare transformation, or just everyday enterprise-wide changes where you are tasked with engaging multiple "Authorizing Sponsors?"
  3. How can Change Agents use the Sponsor Contracting process to secure the actions needed from Sponsors at critical points in the project lifecycle?

Three Sponsor Behaviors 

The webinar will be based on the principles of the Accelerating Implementation Methodology (AIM) on Sponsorship.  There are two types of Sponsors:

  • Authorizing Sponsors "sign the check" and provide the resources for projects.
  • Reinforcing Sponsors legitimize the changes in their own areas of responsibility with their direct reports.

Sponsors drive the adoption of changes through three specific behaviors:

  • Express: what the Sponsors say to demonstrate commitment
  • Model: how the Sponsors model their personal commitment by their own actions
  • Reinforce: how the Sponsors get their direct reports to do things differently through the power of reinforcement

The webinar, led by Don Harrison, IMA President, will describe what Change Agents can do to generate the Sponsorship needed for their projects.  This is the "eternal quest" of Change Agents, and the most important activity they can spend their time on.

30-50% of the success of projects depends on Sponsorship.  Not "lip service", but active, visible Sponsorship!

For projects that are multi-year, and highly complex, Sponsorship can be an even greater problem because there are typically new Sponsors who come in during the course of the change, and old Sponsors who no longer are involved.  This means that Change Agents have to start from the beginning with new leaders while the change is in progress.  

The webinar will provide several practical tips for Change Agents, including a discussion of what language Agents should be using in their Sponsor discussions to get greater responsiveness.

 Free Recorded Webinar: Managing Multiple Sponsors

Topics: Sponsorship, Change Agents, Leadership