The Executive Realignment Team Roles

Specific Roles

The Sponsor Champion
The Client Champion
Realignment Coordinator
CommunityWare Administrator
Cultural Facilitator (Under Development as of 97/11/14)


There is a two-element approach to deliberate realignment projects. The first element consists of an External Change Agent Team (ODI). The second element must be constructed from among assets within the client organization and becomes the Internal Change Agent Team. Members of internal team come from both the bureaucratic organization and the parallel organization.

The Internal Change Agent Team consists of those with whom specific well defined authority rests for the organization. The bureaucratic authorities have been well defined and are or may be backed by legitimate doctrine. Duties and responsibilities are clear and are or can be easily institutionalized. While this is not necessarily true for the External Change Agent Team, both elements are critical to success and serve a different purpose and role in that success.

At a recent event we asked over twenty people who had gone through a Realignment Project about special considerations that ought to be taken into account for four of the Internal Change Agent roles. They had specific comments about what each role ought to be concerned with primarily during each Phase -- those specific comments are contained in the section pertaining to the role being described. Below were their general responses.

A. Champions. The Champion ought to project being a risk taker, being an activist. He or she ought to show up at events often, sometimes even unannounced, but ought not stay very long. Comments need to be supportive of the effort. The Champion ought to be a mentor and coach with a little cheer leading thrown in for good measure. It is important to everyone that the Champion be a protector, a shock absorber, patient and all the while understanding that culture change takes time and effort and doesn't happen overnight. The Champion ought to commit the resources needed for the Front-line folks to do what has to be done. It is also important for the Champion to put pressure on the Line-of-Authority to keep at the job and use the Cultural Facilitation resources provided. The Champion ought to roam about and ask questions, get answers, and make course corrections when needed. Above all, the Champion needs to keep up the momentum.

B. The Line-of-Authority. Those in top positions ought to change to a more facilitated and less authoritative/autocratic style. They need to act as a "heat shield" when the going gets tough and expect there to be tough times. Those in positions of authority are asked to intentionally slow down, make room for culture building tasks -- to make culture a part of the job, not an add on. Most important, it is essential that those in authority get in step and not place themselves in a position that opposes the Realignment project. Followers want those in authority to be participative in the change process rather than give the impression that everyone else had to change, but they were exempt. Finally, people want to get feedback on how things are going. As long as the change was inevitable, people want to know how it is progressing.

C. The Realignment Coordinator. The Realignment Coordinator has to be honest and above board at all costs. The coordinator also has to be able to keep confidence -- folks have to be able to trust the coordinator. The coordinator ought to be a trained facilitator, be diplomatic, a skilled bridge builder between people who don't naturally get along, and be somewhat resilient (able to tolerate the frustrations and abuses that a realignment project brings). The coordinator should be friendly and approachable, encouraging of participation, and one who makes things happen. Above all, the coordinator needs to be someone from whom people can get reliable information.

D. The CommunityWare Administrator (if appointed). When a CommunityWare Administrator is used in a Client organization, that position is normally filled as Phase 5 approaches. The CommunityWare Administrator forms another critical and ongoing link with the External Consulting Team.

More specific information for all roles.

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Reviewed 11/13/01 as ""