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  • The Leader’s Role in Office 365 Adoption and Change Management

    What do successful leaders say and do to manage change and drive adoption?

    The Leader’s Role in Office 365 Adoption and Change Management on

    I remember my dad telling me that “the fish rots from the head down.” And I think the same could be said of any business. What the head of the company does, the rest of the corporate body will do too.
    With this in mind, what can leadership do to guide change management and drive adoption of Office 365? While some things are obvious, like sending out a company-wide notice explaining the switch and setting an overall vision, there are other requirements that must also be considered and put into action.
    MessageOps has helped hundreds of companies in their adoption journey, ensuring that they’re able to help their business units understand and leverage the full business value of Office 365. We like to make sure people aren’t just using it as an email system because it really is a powerful productivity tool that has the ability to transform the way companies do business.
    The following list of traits and actions are the common denominator among leaders who successfully transition their organizations to Office 365


    1. Their Actions Speak Louder Than Words


    “Do as I say and not as I do” is not the mantra of a successful leader. Successful leaders are the first to adopt Office 365 and use its features daily. In our experience, most will start with one or two features that really affect bottom line and ROI, and then move on to others. For example, we see a lot of successful leaders immediately start instant messaging and holding web meetings with Skype for business. They’ll also start sharing documents through One Drive instead of using email attachments.


    2. They Take the Time to Train Other Leaders


    Successful leaders make sure that their admins, associates and/or secretaries become extremely proficient with Office 365’s various features and that they, too, use them daily. We generally see these folks learning to use One Note for scribing meetings and sharing the notes. They learn how to save them in One Drive. They’re also well versed in many of the advanced Outlook and Calendaring features.


    3. They Use Office 365 Across All Devices


    Successful leaders have Office 365 downloaded on their mobile devices – and they actually use it. We’ve noticed that most of the leaders we’ve worked with are not stationary, and that the best ones learn how to use the Office productivity suite on all of their devices no matter where they are or where they go.


    4.They Realize That Adoption Is a Journey


    Leaders with the longest-term success realize and communicate that this whole adoption thing doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a journey with twists and turns, ups and downs, but they lead the group throughout the journey in what they say and what they do. They support education and invest in modernizing communication and collaboration. They support other leaders and those who must follow – internal employees, business units and clients alike.


    5. They Have an Abundance of Patience and Perseverance


    Adopting the Office 365 productivity suite takes time and the most successful leaders realize this from the onset. They know that there will be “technical difficulties” in their weekly staff meetings until they become proficient with Skype for business or until One Note is set up properly. And while they may fumble, they never waiver. They show their down line teams that it’s okay to make mistakes. The use mistakes as a learning opportunity and continuously drive the message that once the kinks in adopting the system are worked out, it will be a powerful productivity tool that only makes the whole team better.


    Create Your Fellowship

    It’s kind of like The Lord of the Rings and you’re Gandalf. Sam and Frodo didn’t just pop over to Mordor, toss in the one ring, congratulate themselves on a job well done and make it back home in time for afternoon tea. They had no idea of the ring’s power until Gandalf taught them. They didn’t know how to get to Mordor until they were joined by men, dwarves, elves and others who were able to guide them and help them overcome obstacles. Only when they formed the fellowship with a single, common goal were they able to achieve what at many times seemed impossible. And while Gandalf certainly didn’t hold anyone’s hands, he was always there to lend support and guidance when it was needed because that’s what good leaders do.
    If you’re feeling more like Frodo than Gandalf when it comes to transitioning to Office 365, MessageOps would enjoy the opportunity to help. Check out our new Office 365 adoption platform and let us know if you believe it would be useful to you on your journey of change management and adoption.

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