Transformative Change Management: The IT Executive as a Champion of Change

Kristen McPherson
Written by Kristen McPherson

September 12, 2019

Today’s IT executive often has a diverse set of responsibilities within an organization, including strategic planning, managing budgets, and staying on top of both technological and industry trends. Given the many hats the IT executive wears, this individual is well positioned within the organization to not only manage change, but become a champion of change.

The IT Leader in Health and Human Services Organizations

Health and Human Services (HHS) organizations are increasingly embracing the drive towards digital. In our 2019 Executive Priorities Report, investing in digital tools and strategies was identified as a top priority among executives in this industry. However, HHS executives also reported that they often face restrictive budgets and lack the resources to invest in the latest digital tools and strategies. This is exactly where the IT executive has the opportunity to shine, outlining the ROI of technological investments and guiding the way to prioritize these initiatives. However, being a champion of change, especially when new technology is involved, requires much more than getting a budget approved. To see a change be successful, it requires buy-in from every individual at the organization.

As a leader steeped in technology each and every day, it may seem second nature to IT executives how the new technology has the ability to streamline processes, improve communication, or more generally make everyone’s lives easier. But many individuals are resistant to these changes and the effort involved in learning a new way of doing things, unless the benefits to them are made abundantly clear from the very beginning. In order to be an effective change agent when championing a new system or technology, the successful IT executive must have a change management plan that includes the following:

  • Have a plan, not just a vision – Being able to see the intended outcome is only half the battle. The other half involves figuring out the steps to get there and plotting the course.
  • Inspire others to get on board – IT executives already know the many benefits of the technology they’re looking to introduce, but it’s important to recognize that others do not (and may not be willing to) see those benefits unless they are convinced. Getting buy-in from both the executive end and frontline end starts with the IT executive’s own championing of the change.
  • Adjust course as necessary – Change is messy. Even with the most carefully thought out plans, there are often times when revisions are necessary to stay on track or redirect back towards the overarching goal. Being able to adapt is an important skill for the IT executive serving as a change agent.

The IT executive faces a wide range of challenges when managing change for a new process, strategy, or technology. And many HHS organizations rely on this individual to be that champion. With a clear vision and strategy, the IT executive is at the steering wheel, playing one of the most significant roles in driving the organization’s success.