Change Management Sponsorship: Say, Support and Sustain

Updated: Aug 4, 2021

"Organisational change sponsorship is about effectively and proactively communicating the change to the stakeholders, Say. Providing and developing competent resources, Support. Intervening, rewarding to embed the change, Sustain”

Sponsorship is the single most important factor in change success, but very few leaders understand why it is so important, who should be the sponsor or what the main responsibilities of a change sponsor include. It is important because without a proactive and effective change sponsor, most change programmes or initiatives will fail achieve the targeted objectives. The leaders of organisations typically associate the role and traits of a change sponsor with those of a change leader. However, while these leadership traits are important foundations, the role of the sponsor goes beyond the role of a change leader.

There are three critical Leadership of Change® responsibilities for sponsors, structured on the a2B3S© Change Sponsorship Model: ‘Say, ‘Support’ and ‘Sustain’ to ensure sustainable change. Change implementation is also supported by the a2B Change Management Framework® (a2BCMF®).


Change Management Sponsorship, The change sponsor must effectively and proactively Say Communication the change Support Provide resources, engage and coach Sustain Intervene, reward and embed, Peter F Gallagher Change Management Experts Speakers Global Thought Leaders, Peter F Gallagher Change Management Expert Speaker Global Thought Leader, change sponsorship, leadership of change, Change Management Handbook,
"Sponsorship is the single most important factor in change success"

Say: Sponsorship starts with providing vocal support for the change. The ‘Say’ is the foundation and is all about communicating the business case for the change to all affected stakeholders. Communication is key to change success and an extremely important first step:

Support: Having built the foundation of communication, ‘Support’ builds on the ‘Say’, and it is in this element that the Sponsor starts to actively and overtly support the change.

Sustain: ‘Support’ is much more important than ‘Say’, but ‘Sustain’ is critical for the organisation to deliver value and achieve the strategic goals. This is without doubt the biggest challenge in any change journey, gaining employee adoption of the new way of working.

“Without effective and proactive sponsorship the change project will eventually fail, the change will not be adopted by the employees nor be sustained, and it will not deliver the intended benefits”
Say Communication the change Support Provide resources, engage and coach Sustain Intervene, reward and embed, Peter F Gallagher Change Management Experts Speakers Global Thought Leaders, Peter F Gallagher Change Management Expert Speaker Global Thought Leader, change sponsorship, leadership of change, Change Management Handbook,

Change Management Sponsorship - Leadership of Change Volume 7


Note: This article will be posted on Linkedin 8th May 2021

Leadership of Change®

Change Management Body of Knowledge Volumes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, A, B, & C

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Peter F Gallagher is a Change Management Global Thought Leader, Expert, International Speaker, Author and Leadership Alignment Coach.

Ranked #1 Change Management Global Thought Leader: Top 50 Global Thought Leaders and Influencers on Change Management (May 2021 & 2020) by Thinkers360.

Ranked #2