The Effective Executive Sponsor

Insights | 23 April 2018

I have previously written that the selection of the sponsor is the first milestone decision in the execution of a successful transformation. The sponsor ensures that the goals of the transformation are aligned with the company’s strategic objectives. They also foster support from other senior executives and provide direction as the programme unfolds.

Additionally, it is important for the sponsor to set the cultural parameters of the steering committee. I’m referring to the valuing of diversity of thought in the steering committee, individuals feeling able to voice their opinions and encouraging the team to be honest and open about the programme. In short, businesses should want to avoid the ‘culture of green’ just because that is what people want to see.

The sponsor and the transformation lead should also work closely to set, clarify and align expectations. This will allow the transformation lead to address the amount of guidance, senior level support and resources that are required for the transformation effort. The sponsor can analyse and sharpen the transformation objectives, key milestones and approve a review and communication schedule.

Finally, I firmly believe there should be KPIs attached to the selected sponsor of the transformation effort. Being assigned a sponsor role should be seen as a reward for outstanding performance within a business and a key adjunct to professional development.

What do you think a sponsor should be held accountable for in a transformation programme?

We have experience, track record and infrastructure to get your transformation initiative mobilised and executed. Contact myself or PM-Partners today on 1300 70 13 14.

About The Author

Ken Sheargold, Chief Executive Officer at PM-Partners group

Ken joined PM-Partners as a Transformation Consultant in February 2016 and took on the role of CEO on May 8th 2017. Ken is responsible for delivering major transformational change where there is complexity, risk, many inter-dependencies and conflicting priorities.

Prior to joining PM-Partners group he held a number of executive appointments in the NSW Government and Telstra Corporation.

His most recent appointment in government was the Executive Director, Premiers Implementation Unit directly responsible for supporting the Premier in the delivery of his key priorities across NSW. Prior to working in the Department of Premier and Cabinet he was the Executive Director of ServiceFirst, the shared services organisation responsible for the provision of shared services to the central agencies of government.

He was the Program Director and commercial lead for the outsourcing of ServiceFirst that successfully executed contracts with Unisys and Infosys in June 2015 with a total contract value of $235 million dollars.

Prior to joining the NSW Government, he held a number of senior appointments in Telstra Corporation. Those appointments included Executive Director Corporate Strategy and Customer Experience and Executive Director Service Advantage.

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