- Inspiration and engagement
- Questions and answers
Champions are those people we all want behind us. They’re the encouragers. They want everyone to be able to do more than they’ve ever done before. In some organizations, there’s an assumption that the early adopters will be the champions. However, the motivators, temperaments, and capabilities of these two groups differ. There may be some people who are in both groups, but, more often, these are groups that transition the baton from the startup to the ramp up and support.
Engaging champions is often a matter of helping them see how they’re informal leaders and how this leadership benefits other people and the organization. Champions are often driven by their sense of helping others. While this can sometimes be associated with the prestige as being the knowledgeable person, that isn’t always the case. Champions should always be aware of their importance to the project and that they’ve got priority access to get their questions addressed – whether the question is for themselves or for someone else they’re supporting.
Champions who are well engaged are the cheerleaders of the project. They inspire and engage others to participate in – rather than resist – the change. They’ll be able to address the minor criticisms by showing other ways to accomplish the same goal or communicate how the issue is being or will be addressed.
Because champions are at the ground level of the change, they’ll be full of questions for you and answers for the rest of the organization. They’re the conduits for addressing all those minor frustrations that will prevent adoption. Said differently, they clear the hassle maps for the users so they can adopt.