A Change Champion programme is a key part of modern Change Management theory. So what’s a change champion? Put simply, a change champion is a volunteer who you nurture into being an ambassador for the change you’re introducing.
How you do find them?
This depends on the size of the organisation, and its current state of development. If you’re working away as an organisation on Yammer, a good change champion is someone who you found on Yammer helping others. Or someone who’s taken on the role of organising a staff network, or their own Yammer group. Because one of the most important characteristic is that they are proactive people who like to help others. You can appeal for change champions to come forward but that’s less effective and less organic than going out into the organisation and finding them yourself through your discovery work with your client.
How do you reward them?
Change champions are special people and they deserve to be nurtured and celebrated. So you need to look after them and make them feel special. Microsoft is strong on this and they recommend setting up change champion networks, with their own networking meetings facilitated by you and your project. They talk about setting up change champion packs, or brown bags, where you have special gifts, t-shirts, keyrings, branded promotional items.
All of this is to answer the question what’s in it for them? Set up special training events for them, regular communications which go to them only, and ensure their work is praised by their managers publically.