Whenever we need to drive a change project in an organisation, big or small, we need those that will champion the change and help us be successful in the change (the move from as-is to to-be) that we need to achieve.
And we can help those change champions that we have identified to a great extent.
Whether driven by career objectives, their KPI’s or very personal goals, showing them that we appreciate their support will boost their confidence as well as the eagerness to come along.
The best way to show your appreciation is to propose learning and development of the needed skills and assist with the actual training needed.
Also Read: This Is Why you Need a Change Agent Network
What skills do change champions need?
They particularly need to grow in the area of working with teams. We can help with providing learning opportunities, inside or outside the organisation, to facilitate a variety of activities such as building change teams into high-performance teams, guiding brainstorming, problem-solving, planning, and conflict resolution meetings.
We can allow them some time off to attend such training. E.g. when it comes to communication and presentation skills we can propose attendance of Toast Masters meetings e.g. it will also help developing speaking in public.
We need to spend some of our own time too
As a personal mentor to change champions we can organise formal or less formal feedback sessions as a team. Bringing the change champions together also helps create that network that they will grow further to interact across the organisation and make connections between others. Bring croissants and coffee, please.
A champion for change is usually open to feedback, new ideas and they are often, though not always, quite creative. So they will appreciate both your feedback and your time. Teaching them the soft skills needed to also be able to give positive feedback is important too.
Also Read: How To Deal With Change In An Organisation
Your change champions need to know how the organisation works and understand its culture, challenges, and strengths. They need to be ‘tuned in’ to the mood of different areas of the organisation, and be able to provide clarification about the change where there is a misunderstanding or identify when and where communication is needed.
Whilst they are enthusiastic about the change, it is important that they have empathy with those who are being affected by it.
In summary: best is to be the biggest supporter and mentor of each individual change champion. And to be the promotor of the change champion team. Recognize and reward them appropriately. Don’t just buy them a branded T-shirt with a project slogan and “I am here to help” but also explain how their efforts will be rewarded once the successful change is implemented.
It will pay off greatly.
Written By Serge Blockmans