3 Tips for Strengthening Your Initiative with a Program Kickoff Champion

August 23, 2017

Last week, we began a new quick tip series on how to actively engage managers and program sponsors throughout the lifecycle of a major initiative, beginning with initial program scoping. Click here if you missed it.

The second key opportunity for partnering with senior leaders is during the launch and early support of the major initiative. They can become your greatest program champions. This is especially critical when you intend for the initiative to be implemented in the most effective manner, going above and beyond the traditional training event emphasis by including a comprehensive required driver package of support and accountability tools implemented during execution.

Here are three specific tips for utilizing a program kickoff champion to strengthen your initiative:

1. Partner with the sponsor and, ideally, the senior business team to draft a communication plan during the planning phase to create the opportunity for success. This means clarifying to all involved the targeted outcomes, new procedures/processes, and roles and responsibilities.​

2. Achieve agreement from senior leadership that they will prepare the way by explaining the new approach and how they will be at the forefront to ensure proper execution. 

3. Finally, do everything possible to ensure that these leaders actively participate in the kickoff of the initiative, and in the support and accountability efforts during the program’s early execution. 

Real Example

Let’s refer back to the example introduced last week of the French company that manufactures and distributes beauty products.

Two of the senior leaders familiar with one of the programs, the Emerging Leaders program, agreed to ‘sign on’ to it. They worked with members of the L&D team to draft a communication plan, and then met with the entire L&D team to explain the communication process and thank them for their good work.

The senior leaders held true to their word. They addressed those in attendance at the program’s kickoff, reinforced the importance of the program and told them, “You haven’t heard the last of us.”

Read the rest of this series for all the tips to getting a seat at the table

Part 1 – 5 Steps to Maximize Manager Involvement During Initial Program Scoping

Part 3 – Stop Playing Hide-and-Seek with Managers After Training

Part 4 – Learn the Most-Ignored Tip in the Training Industry for Maximizing Manager Involvement

Join the Discussion

Have you ever utilized a program kickoff champion? We’d love to hear about how you did it. Here are some ways to join the conversation:

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Additional Resources

Kirkpatrick Four Levels® Evaluation Certification Program – Bronze Level

Kirkpatrick’s Four Levels of Training Evaluation

Is Your Leadership Training on Track? – Part 4

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