Project Sponsors: MIA

Failing to leverage sponsors is the leading cause of change failure, bar none.

Think to how the sponsors were treated in your last project. Would the following sound familiar: ambiguous “board” with no accountability, regular update sessions with RAG reports, sponsors not showing, endless actions on the project manager, dry read-outs to justify the risk log? If so, your sponsors are MIA.

For change to be effective, our sponsors play a vital role. There’s the familiar: providing resources, budget, etc. But even more vitally, our sponsors are our channel for reinforcing change in our organisation. Without alignment between the [unintentional] messages our sponsors are giving their direct reports and the communications we are providing, there will be zero change.

As a change manager your first and most important duty is to leverage your sponsors. Without the authorisation, steer and reinforcement of a line manager, the best communications plan in the world is worth little. The benefits of social media, videos, FAQs, workshops, drop-ins and change clinics can all be wiped out a simple sentence from a direct manager “I need you to focus on something else”.

Establishing the flow of reinforcement is the key deliverable of the change manager. Want to know how? Come find out on

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