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The Digital Renaissance

How to Leverage a Change Champion Network to Drive Successful Business Outcomes

Change management is an integral part of driving successful business transformation. While a change management strategy has several facets, a change champion network is among the most impactful for driving change adoption across your organization. Facilitating a change champion network is an effective way to ease your journey along the path to digital transformation. In this article, we highlight:

  • WHAT a change champion network is
  • WHY your business could benefit from one
  • HOW change champion networks contribute to high performance

First, a quick review: change management is a dynamic strategic effort for leading people through change toward desired business outcomes. A successful change management strategy includes the continuous integration of six key efforts:

  • Achieving sponsorship alignment
  • Gaining present-state understanding
  • Assessing organizational readiness for change
  • Prioritizing communication and engagement
  • Facilitating a progressive learning environment
  • Enabling continuous improvement mindset

Your business most likely has already employed some change management strategies, however, you may not yet have taken advantage of implementing change management holistically to drive a greater return on your technology investment. A change champion network might be a great next step for your organization.

What is a change champion network?

A change champion network is a facilitated group of employees, representing various areas of the business, that serves as a critical link between colleagues, leadership, and stakeholders during a change initiative to facilitate buy-in for change in improve adoption.

What are the benefits of building a change champion network?

Most companies find that most initiatives to change the culture, focus, or outcomes of their business fall far short of anticipated goals. Change champion networks are designed to overcome the reasons for such a high rate of failure among business change initiatives.

Because of their cross-functional makeup, change champion networks can better facilitate strategic communication throughout the business. Especially in companies with strong departmental loyalties, change champions can foster a greater sense of engagement for people in their departments as they facilitate the flow of information and communication among all groups involved in the change initiative. This ensures that people at all levels are not only aware of change initiatives but also provides amplification for any potential objections and hurdles. The change champion network helps identify and mitigate challenges that might otherwise have derailed the change initiative.

Why are change champion networks such a powerful tool?

The heavy focus on communication plays a key role in the successful change champion network.

  • From the top down: When managers and leaders leverage a change champion network to carefully communicate the rationale for proposed change, people throughout the business feel included. They can more easily understand why a change is needed.
  • From the bottom up: When employees see that their concerns are not only received but addressed, the result is increased trust in the change process.

As change impacts become clearer, they are shared to build deeper understanding, drive transparency, and gather feedback. Because their major function is to reduce resistance and increase buy-in for the change through intentional awareness, change champion networks should be formed early on in a change initiative process. Effective change management depends on strategic communication, so building those networks toward the beginning helps smooth the transition for all.

Facilitating understanding and trust helps establish a foundation that allows your business to shift to a positive attitude toward change. The change champion network engages early and continuously with those impacted by proposed changes. This culture-of-change mindset is a powerful tool that helps your business increase agility to meet market demands and achieve objectives at speed.

If your business is ready to drive business transformation, contact us today to find out how Argano can help you be successful.

For more insights for leading successful change, download our whitepaper Business Transformation 2.0: Building Your Digital Foundation with a Mindset for Change.