Why Have your Attempts to Launch an Executive Sponsor Program Failed?


If you've been following my blogs, by this point, you're probably saying to yourself, "we tried this x years ago or x times and it didn't work".

This is a very common challenge.  When I've peeled back the onion and asked why it didn't work, the answer falls into one or more of these categories:

  • No overall internal Executive Sponsor to drive the program (i.e., President or CEO)
  • No expectations for the Executive Sponsors or Program
  • No performance measurements for the Executive Sponsors
  • No one responsible for the program to sustain it, thus it turned into "an event"

An example is a company I met with this week.  They started an Executive Sponsor Program several years ago and still have not effectively launched the program.  When I asked what was the biggest challenge to effectively launching and sustaining the program, they said "the sales organization is not engaged in the program".  Upon further clarification, here are the root causes I found:

  • No overall strong internal Executive Sponsor for the program that consistently communicates the value
  • Minimal expectations for the Executive Sponsors and program
  • No performance measurements for the Executive Sponsors (no accountability)
Launching a program of this magnitude is not easy.  You have to ensure you are incorporating all these aspects for the program to truly build a standard, repeatable process that is sustainable in the organization.  That is when it will become a part of your culture.

I will discuss "Common Myths in Building an Executive Sponsor Program" in my next blog.

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