Lack of time, keeping the momentum throughout the entire project and lack of management support to lead by example were cited as the most common obstacles to include change management. Not having a visible sponsor is the primary reason for failure of any project. Quite remarkably, finding the required budget is only fourth in that list. Research by change management organization Prosci reports similar obstacles:
According to our six round-table participants the lack of sponsorship is often because senior executives mistakenly believe that change management and communication towards the different stakeholders will automatically be part of the implementation approach. But, in reality, change management doesn’t happen naturally. It requires a holistic, multi-faceted approach taking into account leadership (since humans are copycats by nature), communication (on the why, the ‘what’s in it for me’, the how and the when of the changes), training and the right organization and process design (stimulating the change).
Successful leaders in change management will always respect the 3 Cs:
This commitment may be the primary role of the executive sponsor. As one of our round-table participants put it, based on Peter Drucker’s quote: “Culture eats change for breakfast”. When employees are confronted with multiple, perhaps even simultaneous changes, you need a company culture that navigates employees adequately through the changes. It should also stimulate them to continuously learn and reskill themselves. Sponsors have a crucial role to play in creating that cultural mindset.