Turning Critic into Champions

It may seem counter-intuitive to invite your most difficult colleagues to be part of a steering committee or pilot group. But there are some excellent reasons for doing just that.



We learned this from a very wise client – by making sure that he had some challenging colleagues working alongside him he ensured that the final result met all their expectations.



Including them in the ‘how’, ’when’ and ‘who’ decisions means that they get to be part of the project decisions. It’s always harder to criticise when you’ve been partly responsible for the final result.



A few things to consider:

  • Try to get people from other disciplines or departments – this helps avoid silo-mentality.

  • Think about whether there are any key groups in the organisation where the project will have major impact – make sure they are represented.

  • In The Tipping Point, Malcolm Gladwell talks about the need for
    • Connectors (people who know lots of people),
    • Mavens (people who know lots of stuff about their subject) and,
    • Salesmen (people who can persuade other people).

If you want to create champions for your project – aside from getting them inspired by being involved – do you need your team members to be Connectors, Mavens or Salesmen?


  • But, be very careful not to make any group too big. No elaboration required, I’m sure.


In many cases, once they have been involved in the early phases, these challenging colleagues can often become the project’s biggest assets – the champions within the organisation.

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