Assessing Champion Potential

Examples of Roles and Responsibilities of Champions

  • Attends Community Implementation Team meetings.
  • Often described as a voluntary leadership role, opinion leader, a change agent, and an individual who influences colleagues and friends.
  • An expert who provides education, champions a cause, or gives support to colleagues around the implementation of practice, protocols, or research evidence
  • Able to influence others to adopt or implement a new or revised process or to become champions themselves
  • Promotes autonomy by modeling behaviors, serving as an example to others, and providing information and guidance to others.
  • Provides a vital link and serves as a liaison—updating colleagues on project status, creating a mutual understanding of the needs of all parties, and facilitating solutions to issues affecting processes and outcomes.
  • Uses his/her sphere of influence to promote change
  • Overcomes skepticism of newly discovered evidence for a practice change by verbally supporting and physically implementing the change
  • Shares the knowledge gained through implementation experience to ease the transition and narrow the gap between evidence and practice
  • Uses multiple forums to share information and knowledge, including:
    • Presenting the process change at meetings
    • Holding impromptu discussions in the hallway
    • Sharing new evidence in a staff lounge
  • Understands and recognizes the reluctance and hesitation by others to embrace change and addresses these concerns in a manner that is forthright and informed
  • Is prepared to answer questions including:
    • What is the evidence to support the change?
    • Why is the change necessary?
    • Are there others who have already adopted the change?
    • Is there value to the change, or is this change only for the sake of change?
    • Why should I want to change (what’s in it for me)?
  • Is prepared with data from professional journals  and leaders in the field that:
    • Demonstrate the need for the change.
    • Support the evidence.
    • Demonstrate potential gaps between the evidence and practice.
  • Leads peer discussions to build consensus for the change

Examples of Characteristics for Success

Primary Characteristics

  • Has a wide peer and social network and an extensive knowledge of how his/her colleagues interact with eachother
  • Perceived as credible and is respected by peers
  • Highly knowledgeable and stays connected to his/her area of expertise
  • Willing to share knowledge with others
  • Willing to support and advocate for process changes
  • Willing to implement new initiatives and serve as a resource for others
  • Easy to speak with, welcomes contact by others, makes time to attend to their issues, and shows an interest in their views
  • Is flexible in the face of stress, leading others by example
  • Is not afraid to speak his/her mind or of trying to influence others, but does so in a way that respects the personal boundaries of others

Secondary Characteristics

  • Able to foster self-control and respect  in others
  • Able to discern mutual goals beyond apparent differences in order to build consensus among opposing parties
  • Holds that all people should be treated as equals
  • Recognizes, perceives, and directly relates to the emotions of others
  • Communicates truthfully and does not withhold relevant information
  • Shows appreciation for the efforts and contributions of others
  • Follows through with duties and takes the time necessary to get the job done correctly
  • Demonstrates patience and recognizes the importance of timing when initiating change