Admit it, we got you humming, didn’t we?
The rock stars. Every organization has them. As you begin planning your change effort and shaping your stakeholder
groups, pay attention when people say, “Talk to Jamie in accounting, she’s really gets it.” Or, “Brad in marketing always knows what’s going on with everyone, check in with him.”
These are the people on the ground who are closest to employees. They are true leaders in your organization, but not
always by title. At every level, they are respected, well-liked and listened to by their peers. They generally distinguish themselves early on by their contributions to discussions in the first few meetings. They are engaged and outspoken – yet when it comes to your change effort, their powers of influence can be used for good or for “evil.” They can either be the reason that other employees get on board, or they can be your biggest naysayers.
Get them excited about the Big Picture, and they will become your Champions. And, sometimes the ones most opposed to the change at first can be your best allies. Not all can be converted, but be on the lookout for those who, with the right understanding of the transition, may “switch sides” and benefit the program greatly.
Prepare your Champions to communicate the changes – and the reasons for the transition – with the staff they lead and
work with. Give them a thorough background knowledge of the project and its progress. But don’t make them too scripted; the message they bring back to their co-workers must be authentic and in their voice for it to be effective.
The Champions are your friends – and they’ll keep on fighting ‘til the end. (Gotcha again!)