Learning from Champions of Change
I recently read a case study about The Walt Disney Company and their “ITIL Journey”. Since the mid-2000’s, Disney has worked to adopt and align their IT servicing with ITIL best practice. (Case study from Axelos.)
Most striking for me from the study is not the elements of ITIL, but instead Disney’s strategy for championing the change through education and internal expertise. Widespread understanding and acceptance was vital, enabled by everything from “lunch ‘n’ learn sessions to training programs from executive level on down.
Internal Change Champions
A key to the initiative was building a group of experts who were trained extensively to serve as internal Change Champions. Characteristics of these experts were identified:
- Change Champions are able to articulate the vision for the processes they manage or work with.
- Change Champions are able to learn and understand the considerable amount of information that IT-servicing comprises.
- Change Champions have a personality that can persuade and influence people, work collaboratively, and fight resistance.
- Change Champions are able to leverage knowledge and best practice and have an understanding of what is doable.
‘We look for people who demonstrate those four capabilities from a range of sources within the organization. We want people with executive control – directors and VPs – but also from the management ranks, or individual contributors… We want people who share a passion for best practice and who can influence the people around them. We have found that people who are doubters at the beginning, but who come to find out more and are gradually converted, are the best champions.’
Glen TaylorVice President of Technology, Architecture and Security, Parks & Resorts, The Walt Disney Company
Learning from the Disney exampleIt’s not easy. Changing, improving and becoming a world class IT organization requires not only the processes and technology, but also the talent to champion the change. Let’s use the Disney example, let’s get started. The characteristics for champions serve as a reminder to us all. What characteristics do we need to develop in order to champion change in our organization?
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