Propeller was honored to sponsor the recent 2018 ACMP NorCal Chapter's Change Symposium. An amazing group of leaders shared their perspectives on how to harness change in storytelling with clients. Here are 5 takeaways we had from the sessions:
Engage stakeholders throughout the project
In AP English we all learned that a story follows a typical arc: exposition, rising action, climax, falling action, and denouement. Patti Sanchez of Duarte says the story of change must often follow this same arc in business. In a dance of “what is” and “what could be,” businesses must focus on the gap to help transition employees to the new norm. Leaders must ignite this change through a combination of delivering speeches, telling stories, and “holding ceremonies” (celebrating successes) along the way.
SPEAK YOUR SPONSOR'S LANGUAGE
Prosci Chief Innovation Officer, Tim Creasey, reminded us that the #1 contributor to a change process is active and visible sponsorship; however, our sponsors don’t always have the time to be present. As the Change Manager, you must provide your sponsor the context for the change. This includes:
• Speaking their language (ROI, realization not installation, outcomes)
• Quantifying what % of success is due to people who work on the project (the answer is almost always 100%)
• Reinforcing that the technical solution is not the only change; the people must change too.
SET EXPECTATIONS IN THE BEGINNING
Sponsor contracts can help cement commitment to the change management process. Provide a description of why the sponsor’s role is so important, what you need from that sponsor, and, of course, what the sponsor can expect from you, the Change Manager. Having this honest conversation up front can save you time in the implementation phase of your change.
WORK TOGETHER TOWARDS A COMMON GOAL
You’re the caddy; they’re the golfer. You do different things, and you have different responsibilities, but you complement each other. For example, sponsors have the authority, strategy, and relationships to implement the change, but not often the time or change management expertise. What does the Change Manager have? They have the time and the expertise, but often not the authority, strategy, and relationships.
YOUR SPONSOR IS A CHANGE PROJECT TOO
Yes, your project is a change project, but your sponsor is a change project too. Utilize the same ADKAR framework you’d use for your project with your sponsor. With which element does your sponsor need the most help? For example, if your sponsor is aware of their importance in the change process and wants to be of help, you may then need to guide them on what that help looks like (i.e. the “K” in ADKAR). Given their participation is the #1 reason for success or failure, your ability to guide your sponsor can be one of the more important things you do!