Want to have your project team in California using the same change leadership tools and terminology as your project teams in Connecticut and China?
It sounds like a great idea, maybe even a strategic imperative for the new year, to have a global network of change leaders or change agents throughout your organization. Building an organizational capability in change leadership strengthens strategy execution across the board. But putting such a network in place and then maintaining it takes A LOT of work!
These tips come to mind from our collective experience over the years:
- Ensure you have a committed, enduring Initiating Sponsor. The sponsor needs to provide you with the resources (people, funding, removal of obstacles, etc.) for the long haul. This effort should not be considered lightly. Remember, every project teaches the organization history lessons!
- Expose your network of members to a meaningful event which binds them together around content (training/certification, a massive conference, etc.). Then they need to apply what they’ve learned back on the job ASAP. The old saying “use it or lose it” makes sense!
- Experience good change leadership principles on your own project. Think about how you roll out the change network so you’re doing it in a way that leverages short-term wins, increases the sense of urgency in those key stakeholders who need to buy in, and generates an emotional commitment to change in addition to an intellectual one.
- Establish an ongoing community of practice with regular connections and communications, sharing of best practices, etc. In this age of social media, people expect near-constant discussions and updates. An annual conference would be nice, and quarterly conference calls may be helpful (scheduled carefully to account for various time zones), but the online ties are the ones which bind in 2012+.
- Exploit technology to your advantage. Social media has pros and cons, but many of the pros can help you in the change leadership space. Use them wisely within the confines of your company’s social media policies, of course. Apply them for your change network, as well as for the targets of your change projects as communication vehicles.
Michelle Milam Davis and Betsy Winkler are Partners at PeopleResults with 20+ years of change leadership experience each. They can be reached on Twitter @MilamDavis and @BetsyWinkler1.