Case study

Delivering sponsor development programmes


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Problem

This University had ambitious growth targets necessitating a high number of strategic change initiatives. However, their current governance structure led to nearly everything being escalated to 3 senior managers for approval. This meant that active sponsorship wasn’t possible. Decisions were not taken in a timely manner and risks were not addressed and progress not effectively tracked.

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Solution

It was agreed that to meet the ambitious targets, distributed leadership of change was needed. I developed a programme of workshops, webinars and coaching sessions to enable senior managers to understand their sponsor responsibilities and to collaboratively develop ways in which they could carry out their role.

We started from the perspective that change management is a risk management strategy, so it was important for sponsors to assess not only the delivery of tangible change via projects but also the progress of behavioural change with all those impacted by the change. Unless staff were engaged and could see the value of new ways of working they would not change their approach. This meant tracking different metrics including the level of support for the change, the number of staff impacted who were involved in creating the new ways of working and evidence that these new ways were being adopted.

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Results

The main impact of this programme has been the freeing of the board to review and debate the most significant initiatives whilst managers in the various schools feel empowered to lead changes impacting their area. The way in which the training was delivered has meant that there is a willingness to work together on changes that impact more than one area of the University.

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