The sponsor is needed for successful change management
Subject: The sponsor is needed for successful change management
Dear executive manager, Dear sponsor,
I feel honored that you think change management is a (crucial) part of your project! The fact that you hired ChangeLab was already an important hurdle to cross. I know it was a tough job convincing the members of your board of the need for change management. Nevertheless, I have noticed that you thought by doing this your job was done. Unfortunately, I’m writing this letter to tell you otherwise...
People won’t (and don’t need to) always listen to me. Believe me, it would make my job a lot easier if your employees respected me and listened to my story. But, we (you and I) can’t blame them if they don’t. I think it makes sense that they want to hear the essence of the project from YOU:
Why this project is needed
What the urgency is for the company (why are you starting the project today)
And what will happen if they don’t change
I know you want to make time in your agenda to give these answers during an event or with a creative video. Which is great! But in fact, they need to hear the same message about seven times before the majority is on board with the story. If you only tell them this once and then let me repeat it, it won’t work. Because, obviously, they respect you as their manager and wanted to come to work for you (and not me).
To assure that the business value of the project is realized, it is key that most of your employees are on board with the project. They have to say “Yes, I want to be involved in the project”. This is the hardest part of the whole change process. I will stand by your side (or behind the scenes) to guide you in being the sponsor your people really need. But you will need to clear your calendar to repeat the same story to everyone in your company. Once your employees are on board other people can take over, for example trainers. On one condition, that you remain their biggest supporter!
Being the sponsor of a project isn’t only about assuring you have change expertise in the company. It is about being available for your employees and tell them why this project is key for the organization. Make no mistake: this will demand a lot of your time the coming weeks. But I am confident that you are up to the task!
See you soon!
Ps: I will come by to record the promotion video for the project tomorrow 😊