Change Management: Roles in Change Initiatives

Generally, and depending on the size of the change initiative, there are a variety of key roles that you’ll take on or encounter. Examples include:

The Visionary

An individual who conceptualized the idea for change.

The Sponsor

An individual who is the face of change and has overall authority over the change initiative and control over resources.

Depending on the size of the change initiative, there may be one or multiple sponsors identified.

A sponsor’s role is to:

  • Be engaged throughout the life of the change initiative

  • Participate actively in change initiative

  • Be visible throughout change initiative

  • Build confidence & trust with managers and peers

  • Communicate with employees / stakeholders

Of note: The degree to which the sponsor chooses to be involved in the change initiative can directly impact the level of success of the change initiative.

Active sponsorship is essential to achieving successful change. Sponsors are key contributors to the success of the change initiative and play active and visible roles.

The Change Leader

An individual who facilitates the change.

The Change Leader informs the design and the implementation of the change and is often a Manager or Supervisor within the organization. They are primarily responsible for ensuring those impacted by the change are well-informed and prepared.

To inform the approach taken, the Change Leader will gather data, listen, inquire, collaborate and engage with individuals to inform the change management plan.

The Change Leader will often have direct line responsibility to the Sponsor, helping to ensure the Sponsor remains informed on change initiative progress.

The Manager or Supervisor

An individual focused on supporting their teams(s) within their area of the University through the change.

The Manager or Supervisor will consider the following when planning for the change:

  • How the change will impact each team member
  • How change ready the team is
  • What the team will need to support them through the change
  • How best to engage the team in the change process
  • How to address concerns voiced
  • How to keep the team regularly informed of the progress of the change initiative
  • Whether other groups across campus will need to be engaged to implement the change

Without the Managers or Supervisors support, it is unlikely a significant change will be realized.

Managers may also be responsible for leading the change initiative or receive direction to roll out the change to their teams.

The Change Champion

An individual who supports the implementation of the given change.

They are well positioned to engage colleagues to increase buy-in. They are advocates for the change and can influence change adoption across their areas.

Change Champions will:

  • Engage colleagues, building awareness and acceptance across their areas
  • Represent the needs of their areas in matters pertaining to the given change
  • Gather input and share feedback
  • Identify points of resistance
  • Help inform training/support needs, updates to knowledge base articles, and/or any other relevant supporting documentation
  • Encourage user adoption post implementation

The Change Adopter

An individual directly impacted by the change. Change adopters can assess their level of change readiness by completing the Change Readiness Assessment.

Regardless of the role you hold, we are here to support and guide you. Contact us