Bob, Raj, Jeff, Kenton, Ellen, Dave, Lisa…. These are the names of some of the champions I’ve known throughout the years. What is a champion?  According to the dictionary it is : someone who fights or speaks publicly in support of a person, belief, cause, etc. Today we’re going to discuss the role of the champion in your business.

 

Who is your champion?

Every Company has one at some point in time. Sometimes it’s the owner or family of the owner. As we talked about a year ago in Issue 470 - Do I have to change?  if you want continued success you need a champion. Five years ago when I wrote the Buyer's Guide to help choose and implement a system. I failed to mention the most critical part of successful implementation and that is to find a champion in your company who can push forward an  implementation.

Some ways to determine who your champion can be.

  • They Understand That “What’s in It for Me?” is a Self-defeating Question. They see the big picture and are prepared to embrace it.
  • Do they have the intellectual tools to do the job? Don’t put a round peg in a square hole.
  • Are you willing to provide the internal “take care of it” message to the staff so that the person has the internal support to get the job done.  Just telling them they are in charge is not enough.
  • Not afraid to leave their comfort zone. One of the most critical factors in a champion.  Champions have the ability to go beyond their pay grade.

As I have been involved with implementations through out the years I see these champions standing out of the crowd and showing themselves and owners they can handle the burden. Your ability to get intimately involved in a project might be limited, the champion can serve as your conduit and give you the candid opinions you need to be monitor the project.

In working with a large client of mine to get a key project started he told me over 60% of systems projects fail and was concerned that would be the case with his. One of the factors that must be looked at is the ability of the firm to commit the resources to the project, that is where the Champion comes in. In most cases just spending the money is not enough. Small to medium businesses that we serve do not have IT people so dependence on the correct vendor is inescapable. That’s why that buyers guide can be important. It is critical to set a target that your champions can strive for.

 

 

Issue 640 - Everything Cycles.

Transformation and disruption was a topic in an article in the Sunday Philadelphia Inquirer. I read about the demise of Sears & Roebuck titled The Big Stumble. They believed they had no competitors. The New York Times dubbed them "The Amazon of the gilded age." Those of us in the baby boom generation remember Sears.  As a young boy I remember thumbing through the catalog, dreaming of what I could buy if I had the money.

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