Creative experiential workshops and coaching services for sponsors and stakeholders
Nearly all project management training is aimed at pms, rather than sponsors or stakeholders, and 90% of this training is methodology oriented. Is it any wonder organisations are not equipped to deliver cross-business change? The widely held view is that sponsors generally don’t know how to sponsor, and certainly many pms complain, or blame their sponsors and stakeholders. Attempts at sponsor training often fail. Either they don’t get off the ground at all, or have poor attendance. Those who attend generally feel they know it and get frustrated with the usual PowerPoint downloads. We are trying to address this issue and in the last couple of years have started to have success. We have now worked with ten organisations on the sponsor role and sponsor leadership behaviour.
What we have found
Sponsors don’t like being trained, especially if theory based. They do like a high quality debate about application of sponsorship in their reality. They like it short, accessible and straight-talking.
How we 'train' sponsors
We run two to four hour experiential workshops. We reduce the sponsor role down to one slide and we don’t ‘teach it’. Instead Actors play out an improvised story, where we follow the journey of a central character, a newly anointed sponsor, as he/she encounters a pm who doesn’t step-up, stakeholders who resist, a steering board which prevaricates and a Chief Executive demanding the final outcome. The audience reflects on what it sees, makes connections with its own experience and ultimately changes the central character’s behaviour into the sponsor it wants to see. The creative device builds engagement, the debate leads to learning.
The single person accountable for the benefits
Engagement is the vital ingredient - we find the knowledge is mostly there already.
Our experience is consistent across our client assignments; sponsors we work with DO know the role, when they are sat down and asked to define it. However, in their reality, they acknowledge that they don’t always engage with it for real, and certainly struggle to give it the time and attention it needs. Our workshops help sponsors to see more clearly the central truth that they are accountable, and that when they accept the role, they also accept the consequences of taking it on. Once this is established in their mind, they can put the talent and knowledge they already have to work.
Who we work with on sponsorship
BBC, BskyB, EBay, DHL, Infineum, Nationwide, Oxford University Press, Royal London, Sellafield, UCAS