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Successful organizational transformation hinges on adoption, yet the fear of building monumental changes only to face rejection looms large. “Deputizing your Stakeholders to make them Change Champions” offers a strategic solution. Illustrated through a healthcare clinic’s transition to an Electronic Medical Record system, influential stakeholders were empowered as change enablers, driving a grassroots movement that led to successful adoption. Today’s leaders are urged to identify and empower their own Champions, ensuring their transformation narrative ends in success. With Change Champions leading the way, leaders can choose between horror and heroism.

Your success as a leader of large organizational transformation is linked to one major outcome: Adoption. Your biggest fear — wonder if you build “it” and they don’t come?

The specter of building “it” — that monumental IT project, that revolutionary process change, that all-encompassing system overhaul — and then being greeted by an echoing void of non-acceptance. Transformation failure. It’s enough to wake you in a cold sweat.

It’s an eerie blend of your favorite movie’s promise (“if you build it, they will come!”) and your worst nightmare — they intentionally avoid the show — an empty theater.

Stakeholders — they hold the script to your adoption storyline.

But here’s the plot twist: their idea of a nightmare isn’t the specter of non-adoption. It’s the very essence of change itself. If you move their cheese, they might not come!

This sets the stage for a potential horror flick no transformation leader wants to star in.

But before you make a dash for the exit, let’s flip the script with a strategy that can turn this blockbuster flop into a blockbuster success.

Enter the concept of “Deputizing your Stakeholders to make them Change Champions” — a tactic not merely to survive the transformation but to thrive through it.

Let’s build our “Thrive” plan.

For me, the premiere of this approach was at a large regional healthcare clinic over 10 years ago, where I was part of the project/transformation team. There I witnessed an example of how to thrive in stakeholder adoption. The CIO, an innovative thinker, and Navy Academy grad, along with an equally innovative CEO co-directed a transformative move to an Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system. This technological leap was set against the backdrop of traditional, influential, and digitally wary physicians who preferred the status quo over screen taps and keyboard clicks. We had a lot of reluctant stakeholders with a lot of political power. Picture your stakeholder matrix and these stakeholders were on the matrix of “low Interest” and “high-Influence”.

The CIO, understanding the stakes, didn’t surrender to the impending doom of rejection. Instead, he crafted a proactive narrative. His masterstroke? “Champions” — not just any stakeholders, but those with the right blend of influence and ambition, deputized to drive change from within.

These Champions weren’t ordinary characters. They were change enablers, appointed to usher their peers through the metamorphosis from paper-laden orders to digital efficiency. Their mission was clear: transform trepidation into triumph, skepticism into support. Our CIO managed this group of change deputies with attention, acknowledgement, and fanfare. Everyone knew these champions were given a job to do, walk the organization into this new era.

Through this strategic move, the CIO effectively turned potential adversaries into advocates, leveraging their clout and community trust to bolster the transformation effort. “No more paper orders” wasn’t just a decree; it became a collective rally cry! And it worked like a charm.

The result was a story of success where digital orders became the norm, not because of a top-down mandates, but through a grassroots movement led by Champions who owned their parts in the transformation narrative.

Your Call to Action:

This is not just a tale from the past; it’s a proven playbook for today’s leaders facing their versions of the “Field of Dreams” dilemma. By identifying and empowering your Champions, you can write a story of adoption that ends not with an empty field but with a full theater and a standing ovation.

Fellow transformation leaders! The curtain rises on our next act. Will it be a horror or a hero’s tale?

With Change Champions deputized and driven, the choice is ours to make.

Ready to launch your moonshot? Contact us today to make it happen. With our services-led, tools-driven approach, we’ll get you there 90% faster and better. Don’t let your dreams linger on the launchpad – reach out now and let’s turn them into reality, smoothly and easily.

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