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A change initiative will benefit from an early analysis of stakeholders, both individuals and groups, both within and external to the organisation. The nature and extent of the stake needs to be understood. This analysis may be represented through a stakeholder map. A stakeholder plan then may be used to plan the timing and nature of interaction with those stakeholders. Stakeholders close to the decision making process need to be carefully analysed to distinguish influencers from deciders and buyers. Those affected by a change, which may include internal or external staff, and the organisation's customers need to be involved from the outset where the organisation is looking to achieve a positive response.
The Executive Champion
The importance of the executive champion is often rightly highlighted in change management texts, but often the context is not explored.
The wider and more pervasive the impact of the change the more senior the executive mandate will need to be. A truly strategic change will need support from the top. In large multi-divisional organisations, with multi-tier executives, some change initiatives will not need that level of sponsorship, for others it may be beneficial but not forthcoming.
Ideally the Executive Champion will have executive control over all areas impacted, and be the financial sponsor. In practice the champion may have direct control over one functional area only, such as HRM, risk, finance or the IS department, and may or may not be the source of funding. In such cases the change programme will be dependent on active and committed involvement from the champion in promoting the change vision to other relevant areas, and in securing necessary commitment.
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