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Resource Center > Provider Toolkit > The NIATx Way > Appoint a Change Leader

Appoint a Change Leader

The Executive Sponsor appoints an influential Change Leader.

Note to the Executive Sponsor: It is possible for a single person to execute a project, but most often it works better to include a team of people. A Change Team is a small group of employees appointed by the Executive Sponsor to identify business process barriers and determine and implement rapid-cycle changes designed to improve the process. The role of the Change Team is to coordinate one project and initiate one improvement effort in their organization’s access and retention systems.

Qualifications of a Change Leader

Before appointing the Change Team, select the Change Leader—the person who will lead the Change Team. This person needs to have the ability (and leverage) to interact with all levels of the organization. She/he also needs to have the time commitment required to get things done. She/he also should be a good team leader, communicator, and delegator, have good organizational skills, and experience with making changes.

Who makes a good Change Leader?

Ninety-nine NIATx Change Leaders and Executive Sponsors who were surveyed identified the top leadership qualities of an effective Change Leader as:

  • Challenges the status quo
  • Gets results verified by data
  • Persistence
  • Respected throughout the organization
  • Focuses team on the Change Project objectives

We would add to that list:

  • Someone who reports to you, the Executive Sponsor
  • Someone who is comfortable providing day-to-day leadership, energy, enthusiasm, and coordination
  • Has the power and prestige to influence all levels of the organization
  • Instills optimism
  • Uses mandates (with time deadlines)
  • Is goal-oriented
  • Is systematic
  • Would make Sherlock Holmes proud

Once you have selected the Change Leader, you might want to ask him or her to help you identify and appoint the rest of the Change Team.