10 Secrets I Learned About Successful Organisational Change Sponsorship


When coaching leadership teams to prepare them to lead their organisation’s change, I have often been asked what the key elements of successful organisational change sponsorship are.

This is the response I share:

  1. Purpose Led: Change sponsors have a purpose and everything they do is aligned with the organisation’s strategy and adding value. They develop change leadership capability, lead with integrity, and benevolence, especially when dealing with employee concerns about the change. They execute their sponsorship responsibilities effectively and efficiently.

  2. Articulate the Change Strategy: Change sponsors guide the organisation’s leaders in articulating the change vision and explaining how it fits with the organisation’s strategy.

  3. The Face of the Change: Change sponsors are not afraid to admit to stakeholders that if the change fails, it is their fault. They also make themselves accessible to key stakeholders to answer their queries.

  4. Communicate Constantly: Change sponsors will constantly communicate the change, getting the right message to the right stakeholders at the right time, in their frame of reference with a feedback loop.

  5. Release Quality Resources: Change sponsors will ensure the leaders release quality resources from normal day-to-day operations to the change programme.

  6. Engage the Organisation: Change sponsors will ensure that every level of the organisation impacted by the change has been engaged from top to bottom, with no silos.

  7. Coach the Organisation: Change sponsors develop change capability across the organisation. Change capable organisations are able to constantly manage change successfully, maximise employee adoption, and deliver sustainable benefits.

  8. Intervene to Sustain the Change: Change sponsors will use polite and respectful intervention as an effective change tool to reinforce change adoption and behaviour change. They will not tolerate leaders who are indifferent delegators or have a silo focus.

  9. Reward Behaviour Change and Adoption: Change sponsors will effectively and proactively reward positive employee behaviour and adoption to keep employees motivated.

  10. Embed as Normal Operations: Change sponsors understand the change must be quickly embedded as normal day-to-day operations, delivering the intended return on investment. This means there is a controlled process for transferring ownership to operations with governance approval.

“Sponsorship is the single most important factor in change success”


Further Reading: Change Management Sponsorship: Leadership of Change Volume 7

Peter consults, speaks, and writes on the Leadership of Change®. He advises CEOs on how to prepare and align their corporate leadership teams to successfully lead their organisation's change.

For further reading please visit our websites: Peter F Gallagher: Books, Biography, Blog, Audiobooks, Kindle

Leadership of Change® Body of Knowledge Volumes: Change Management Body of Knowledge (CMBoK) Books: Volumes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, A, B, & C available on both Amazon and Google Play:

Leadership of Change® Volume 1 - Change Management Fables

Leadership of Change® Volume 2 - Change Management Pocket Guide

Leadership of Change® Volume 3 - Change Management Handbook

Leadership of Change® Volume 4 - Change Management Leadership

Leadership of Change® Volume 5 - Change Management Adoption

Leadership of Change® Volume 6 - Change Management Behaviour

Leadership of Change® Volume 7 - Change Management Sponsorship

Leadership of Change® Volume A - Change Management Gamification - Leadership

Leadership of Change® Volume B - Change Management Gamification - Adoption

Coming soon:

Leadership of Change® Volume C - Change Management Gamification - Behaviour

~ Leadership of Change® Volume D - Change Management Gamification - Sponsorship

~ Leadership of Change® Volume E - Change Management Gamification - Leadership Teams

By Peter F Gallagher

Keywords: Leadership, Change Management, Business Strategy

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