Transformation is a topic of the everyday. What is new today, will be old tomorrow. Delivering A continuous improvement program top down – bottom up requires clear sponsorship and support from all levels. To enable success, it’s vital that the business understands and engages into the transformation. In this short article we would like talk about the importance of business ambassadors e.g Corporate Influencers when implementing new processes and designs. And some important tips to keep them on board.
For the people not familiar with the term business/brand/corporate ambassadors/ These are the team members who are suportive to:
- Validation scope
- Testing of functionalities
- Communication and training of their direct colleagues
- Socialising the transformation
They are not actively working on delivering the program objectives, but see them as people in the business who are part of a structure where they can give feedback on the changes to ensure the business has a say in what is being delivered in the program. We also call them the “Social Influencers” of the company.
Make Ambassadors part of the design phase
Business ambassadors are the people who do the work every day. Often we see that a design is made, the project implementation started and then we find out that the daily routine of the users is not in line with the objectives. The risk is total misalignment and limited adoption to the new. Ambassadors help validate the transition and give feedback on the risks.
Facilitate your business ambassadors to ensure they stay involved
It’s one thing to get them involved. But if you expect them to be part of the transition, you need to make sure that you facilitate their needs. As with all launches good marketing, good materials and extensive training are important to win trust. Organisational transformation, in our experience, need process design and quality, a structured and optimised internal marketing strategy besides factual information. Do not sell the new, but inform and facilitate the business ambassadors with tools, information and guidance they need to help drive the movement.
Listen well. Emotional v/s Rational thinking are your two partners of success
We tend to sell the new. We may not listen enough. Regular feedback moments are important during the journey. You will make mistakes and you will miss a message or 2 (probably more). But opening the discussion with the team members is important. Do not over-communicate but listen and ask feedback regularly. Use this feedback to improve and share the adjustments you make.
Communication is tricky, you can make or break a transformation if you don’t get this right
Communication is an art. Personally one of the most important parts to have it right in any transformation. The message you give should be tailored to your audience. Ask yourself the following:
- Why are we doing this?
- Who is my target audience?
- Are they familiar with the problem statement?
- Are them impacted by the issue we are adressing?
- What will this mean for them?
- What do you expect from them?
- What can they expect from you?
- How will you/they deliver?
Bringing the right message is never easy. Especially when you are working on a wide scope where a lot of teams are impacted e.g. part of. It’s vital that your communication is focussed on the journey, not the result. As within any transformation you will learn by doing. The evisaged end result may change based on learnings.
Make sure you have a clear timeline of deliverables and a continuous process of feedback. Your Ambassadors should be a good representation of the business and take a big role in defining the communication strategy and content. They should own this throughout the journey and make sure their colleagues/focus group is fully aware of where the transformation is going.
Be wary of availability of Ambassadors!
Take in consideration that your program, is not their full time job. It can thus be difficult to put the effort into the program. Delivering a program without creating time to contribute will definitely result in challenges in their day-to-day deliverables or vice versa, the program deliverables.
Schedule intervention, align with leaders and synchronise the need of the project team. Make sure you align expectations in detail and based on feasibility extend the group, or even make time for them by realigning priorities. You do not want them to fail in their deliverables as a consequence of delivering a program. This will kill the motivation and success of the program.
Share your experiences on how you have utilised business ambassadors?
We are keen to understand your view on working with business ambassadors. What you have done to make sure they have time to contribute. What were the successes and which lessons can we learn?
Interested in what D-N-A can do for you? Do not hesitate to contact us for consultation. We are happy to support you from design to delivery of your program.
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