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Seduce Stakeholders Into Organizational Change

Book synopsis / key ideas:

Project management and change management skills are of strategic importance to every modern HR professional. The goal of strategic projects is to implement change in the organization. Research shows that only one third of all initiated projects are successful in meeting this goal. Among the success factors, the formal project management technique (for example PMBOK, PRINCE2, MSP, Agile, etc.) that is applied only accounts for 6% of the project’s success. The two most important success factors, however, are support from the client and support from the internal users, which together account for 34% of the project’s success.

Seduce Stakeholders Into Organizational Change

Leon Hielkema

But how to successfully create this support?

“HR Strategic Project Management SPOMP” approaches change projects in a fundamentally different way. It does not focus on the project management technique, but on the process of influencing and persuading people. In other words, the focus is on actively creating support and buy-in for a change project or initiative. The five strategies of “HR Strategic Project Management SPOMP” will create support by seducing (as in alluring or enticing) stakeholders into the change that you want to realize. Seducing stakeholders means to influence them to become positive about the change. Creating this positive attitude will significantly increase the chance of a successful project.

Why buy this book?

Project management books tend to focus primarily on developing a plan that keeps projects on schedule and within budget. This basis is necessary to run a project but is not enough. The human side (creating support/buy-in and preventing resistance) is an absolute necessity to realize a successful organizational and behavioral change.

Books about change management pay better attention to the human side of implementing change. However, they lack a structured plan to keep the project on schedule and within budget.

“HR Strategic Project Management SPOMP” integrates the best of both worlds. It uses a project plan to gradually seduce stakeholders into change. This integrated approach is unique and cannot be found in other books.

Who are your target audience?

“HR Strategic Project Management SPOMP” is targeted at internal consultants, project managers, program managers, management consultants, change agents, and change managers between the ages of 35 and 50 and well experienced in managing complex strategic projects. They work in the human resources department of a knowledge-intensive organization, with many highly educated professionals. The project teams that they lead comprise five to 10 members and the projects have an average duration of three to 12 months.

Their projects stem from the organization’s strategic mission, changing legislation, technological developments, efficiency measures, restructuring or, for instance, from the strategic agenda of the human resources department itself. Their responsibility goes beyond that of an external consultant. They not only have to develop a solution, but also strategies and plans to implement this solution in daily practice. They will be very interested in “HR Strategic Project Management SPOMP” because it offers new powerful insights on how to successfully implement strategic change in the organization.

Seduce Stakeholders Into Organizational ChangeWhat does SPOMP mean?

The letters SPOMP are an abbreviation of the five strategies that are presented in “HR Strategic Project Management SPOMP.” These five strategies are very powerful in seducing the client, internal users, and other stakeholders. Each strategy is a building block to become even more successful in implementing the organizational or behavioral change that you want to realize.

Select Your Stakeholders (S)

Office politics always plays a major role when you want to realize change in your organization. Politics is often viewed as a negative force on the project, but you can turn it into a positive. To use politics as a positive force, you need to carefully select the stakeholders who can influence others to favor your project. “HR Strategic Project Management SPOMP” describes how to determine which stakeholders you need to select in order to use office politics to your advantage.

Plan to Communicate (P)

In order to seduce stakeholders into change, you need to communicate on a frequent basis with them. This is essential in order to create multiple opportunities for yourself to positively influence stakeholders in adopting and embracing your change initiative. Frequent communication from the start of the project ensures that stakeholders are not confronted with a change, but that they are “taken along” in the change project. In this way, stakeholders will get accustomed to the idea of change, and this will significantly reduce potential resistance. “HR Strategic Project Management SPOMP” describes in two clear steps how to efficiently plan frequent communication moments with stakeholders.

Organize Influence (O)

A steering committee, project board, or another governance body can help you to create support and buy-in for the change that you want to realize in your organization. “HR Strategic Project Management SPOMP” describes how you can utilize such a body to successfully create this support. You will learn how to strategically organize your influence in such a way that the governance body will start working for you.

Market Your Change Initiative (M)

Just as a manufacturer uses marketing to seduce customers into purchasing a product, you can use marketing to seduce stakeholders into change. Therefore, you need to view your change initiative as a product that you want to sell to stakeholders. “HR Strategic Project Management SPOMP” describes how to sell your initiative by marketing your project, the capabilities of your project team, and yourself as the orchestrator of the change.

Prove Potential Success (P)

The challenge of the fifth and last SPOMP strategy is to prove during the project that your project will be successful in the end. The goal is to create a positive attitude from stakeholders regarding the organizational change that you want to realize. If you can convince stakeholders of this potential success, then it becomes much easier to seduce them into change. “HR Strategic Project Management SPOMP” describes how to seduce stakeholders by proving the potential success of your project.

What is the benefit of SPOMPing a project?

The five SPOMP strategies are very powerful in seducing stakeholders into change because it shows you who (S), when (P), and how (O, M, and P) to seduce. By SPOMPing your project, you will make the stakeholder’s mind receptive to your ideas, even before implementing them in your organization. This greatly enhances your chances of realizing a successful change.

In addition, SPOMPing a project has many other advantages. An advantage for the client is a shorter project duration because there is less resistance at the time the change is going to be implemented. Furthermore, internal users will benefit from SPOMP because they are able to influence the change process. Moreover, project team members will experience much more motivation to actively participate in the project because SPOMP delegates responsibility to them.

For you, the advantage is that SPOMPing a project will boost your career as an internal consultant. You will be perceived as a successful professional because you are realizing change faster and better than others in your organization. As a result of your successful image, you will be asked to manage ever more interesting and challenging projects. At a certain moment in your career, you can even choose which projects you would like to manage. The mere fact that you accept a project assignment will be considered as a “quality mark” within your organization.

Your successful image ensures that colleagues are keen to participate in the projects that you are managing. It will also create trust amongst stakeholders which makes managing future projects increasingly easy. I know this from my own experience and from the internal professionals whom I have coached over the years. It works in the same way as a football coach who has a successful track record and thus a successful image. This football coach also has no need to explain why he or she opts for a certain line-up.

Discover for yourself how you can SPOMP your project and successfully seduce stakeholders into the organizational change you want to realize. Find out in everyday practice what SPOMP can do for you and how it will boost your career!

Author bio:

Leon M. Hielkema, MBA, has more than 15 years of international experience in developing, executing, and evaluating strategic change projects.

He has successfully coached many internal professionals over the years and is a featured speaker and trainer.

With this book, he gives new, refreshing insights on how to successfully effect change in complex organizations.

Praises for “HR Strategic Project Management SPOMP”:

“Finally a book that not only tells you how important engagement is, but also shows you how to actually create it. Highly recommended.” — B. Johnson, PMP, Chicago, IL

“Down-to-earth insights that will definitely change the way you deliver change. Invaluable for every human resources professional!” — E. Garzi, Philadelphia, PA

“One of the few books in this field that covers politics.” — Ch. Leibovitz, Staten Island, NY

“Logically structured, to-the-point, and a real pleasure to read!” — TJ. Baxter, Wichita, KS

“A refreshing and inspiring view on the project called change!” — J. Harris, Chicago, IL

“The great thing about SPOMP is that it’s independent of the methodology that you use. It complements PMBOK fully.” — V. Lloyd, Baltimore, MD

“A must read for every modern internal HR project manager, program manager, or portfolio manager who wants to achieve change!” — L. Wallowski, Philadelphia, PA

“I especially found the third SPOMP strategy very useful. Now I know how I can get the steering committee out of my chair.” — M. Codinio, Seattle, WA

“It’s indeed not about the methodology, but about people and how to influence them.” — H. Tallis, Winchester, UK

“Top-notch insights about collaboration, engagement, and how to bridge the implementation gap.” — P. Vélez, New York, NY

“Proving the potential success of my project did it for me!” — C. Jackson, Fort Worth, TX

“An extremely agile approach to transformation, without losing control.” — A. Walker, Newcastle, Australia

“One of the most powerful books on Organizational Consulting that I’ve read in the past few years. Definitely a keeper!” — W. Balog, Chicago, IL

“SPOMP increases your visibility in the organization enormously!” — M. Ravdin, Montreal, Canada

“Very readable, cohesive, clearly articulated, without the typical popular business management jargon.” — A. Salinger, Camden, NJ

What’s your Marketing/PR advice to fellow authors?

Most importantly you have to get your message out there! I’ve created my website on Joomla. Other easy to use platforms are WordPress and Google Sites. Furthermore, Amazon is giving authors a free platform to promote their books: Also, I created a twitter page ( which enables me to publish news related articles about project management, change management, and implementing organizational change. On my blog,, key ideas of my own are presented. Lastly, I would like to recommend promoting your books on social media venues like Facebook, Google+, and LinkedIn. For example, I’m connecting to everyone who wants to interact or discuss with me. Authors should reach out to each other in order build a critical mass of connections, followers, comments, reviews, and the like! Good luck!

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