Priority #1 During Change: Leadership Alignment and Sponsorship

 In Change Management, Culture, Leaders

Studies over the years have continued to confirm what you may have already suspected… the greatest contributor to successful organizational change is leadership.  In a studies of hundreds of companies and their change efforts, “Strong Executive Sponsorship” was cited three times more frequently
than any other contributing factor to successful change  by Prosci (Best Practices in Change Management) in both 2005 and 2009.

If your organization is currently undergoing or contemplating a change, the focus should be on leadership.  There are two elements of leadership that should be fully understood and addressed:

  • Alignment – the extent to which leaders are “on the same page” about what the change is, why it is important, what it will mean to the organization
  • Sponsorship – the things that leaders are actually doing to demonstrate their support for a change such as contributing resources, attending key meetings, and encouraging others to work with the project team

Understanding the degree of leadership alignment and sponsorship around the change and identifying and addressing leadership issues will position the change for success.

Collecting information about leadership alignment and sponsorship that you need doesn’t have to be a big deal.  A few candid discussions and well conducted interviews can do the trick.