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What is a Champion?

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bring%20out%20the%20other%20side%20in%20each%20one%20of%20us%20to%20bring%20us%20closer%20together%3F%3C%2FP%3E%3CP%3E%26nbsp%3B%3C%2FP%3E%3CP%3EA%20champion%20is%20one%20that%20has%20understanding%20of%20business%20intent%20and%20at%20the%20appropriate%20level%2C%20the%20required%20technical%20expertise%20to%20understand%20how%20they%20are%20so%20closely%20integrated.%20Horizontal%20vision%20and%20not%20vertical.%20In%20IT%20a%20fundamental%2C%20very%20simple%20conceptual%20model%2C%20is%20PPT.%20People%2C%20Process%2C%20Technology.%20A%20triangle.%20There%20is%20such%20an%20important%20need%20to%20have%20representatives%20at%20each%20of%20the%20vertices%20and%20because%20they%20have%20a%20passion%20for%20it.%20A%20champion%20most%20likely%20is%20born%20within%20the%20vertices%20but%20matures%20ultimately%20to%20exist%20in%20the%20lines%20that%20connect%20the%20vertices.%20At%20first%20in%20simple%20form%20but%20with%20time%20to%20embrace%20the%20more%20complex.%20Without%20experts%20living%20in%20the%20lines%2C%20i.e.%20Champions%2C%20IT%20initiatives%20will%20fail.%3C%2FP%3E%3C%2FLINGO-BODY%3E
Karuana Gatimu
Microsoft

There are many definitions of what a Champion is in the context of organizational or technical change.  For the purposes of our community I define a champion as:

 

"A person who is interested in technology as a means to help themselves and others achieve their goals. Someone who is willing to invest in learning skills to make this happen, often on their own time."  

 

While I do love technology and all its features the most rewarding work I do is to help other people achieve their goals whether large or small.  To be a Champion and a part of this community you do NOT need a technical or organizational change degree, decades of experience with Office 365 or even a clear understanding of why you are here.  You simply need to have a desire to learn more and help others.  

 

Because we are an open community we will have conversations here that will span across multiple disciplines - IT professionals, business users, developers and communications or change professionals.  We will strive to have content for everyone while helping each individual build their skills in deriving business value from the adoption of Office 365.  

 

What to expect next

Over the course of the next few weeks we will:

  • Curate and post reference material from a variety of sources 
  • Post our community call schedule and agendas 
  • Open topics for conversation like this one!

Any community will give to you what you invest in it so please participate in the conversation!  No question is "dumb" whether it is technical or people related.  We are all here to learn from each other.

 

I'm very happy you are a member of our Champions program.  Tell me in the comments what being a Champion means to you! 

 

21 Replies

For me, being a Champion is all about the intent and drive to learn and help others in that journey.

Embracing the changes and setting an example for others to follow. But also, sympathizing with those who are reluctant and/or nervous!

Solution

I think you hit it on the head perfectly

 


@Karuana Gatimu wrote:

 

"A person who is interested in technology as a means to help themselves and others achieve their goals. Someone who is willing to invest in learning skills to make this happen, often on their own time."   


Someone that is knowledgeable and passionate about new technologies and willing to learn new things. Not only learning, but also teaching and sharing what they have learned. I find that everyone learns (in their own way), but those that take the time to teach others and share what they have experienced are usually the "go-to" people.

A person who is passionate to help others collaborate, learn, share knowledge & build learning communities.

"New ideas need audiences like flowers need bees. No matter how bright and colorful, they will die unless others work to spread them." - Simon Sinek

A purposeful goal that benefits self and the community.
Someone with a purposeful goal that benefits self and the community.

A passionate voice, a leader, an advocate for the change but also a conciliatory voice, an channel for feedback, a trusted ‘friend’

A passionate voice, a leader, an advocate for the change but also a conciliatory voice, an channel for feedback, a trusted ‘friend’.

 

The ‘best’ champions are the unlikely champions. The person most likely to resist a change, and becomes an advocate (champion) is the person most likely to be listened to. The person who embraces changes easily, or the ‘IT champ’ is probably the least likely to gain respect amongst the targeted employee group.

How about Champions often being the persons who are able to discern, learn, and share those features of the technology/innovations that fit or meet the unique business needs of their company?

 

Ascertaining where to focus energies, rather than keeping up with, or pushing, technology-for-technology-sake can end up counterproductive to user adoption.

A champion is more than just someone who promotes the adoption of new technology into the way people are working; they help people change their way of working to make the most of the tools and technology available to them, to work smarter and make work fun and easy.  

Ooh I like that quote. Thanks for that. I feel pollinated already.

Mick the Miner is a Champion. An unlikely champion. 

He was brave and tried something he hadn't done before. He saw the value in it because he was going enjoy a good meal. He watched and learned alongside Jamie Oliver in a football stadium, then had to immediately pass it onto others, who in turn passed it onto others. 

Watch Mick as he cooks his first meal and is absolutely fired up to learn more and pass it on. I don't mean to promote a TV series here. But if you follow Mick's journey throughout the series, you will see the journey of a Champion. It changed his life. 

Our Champion's at work can change lives, be it through learning and passing on small skills, or by demonstrating an attitude to pass on things that benefit them. Empower our cooks and feed our people. Enjoy the meal. 

Warning: There is some course language. I don't mean like main course. I mean harsh, potentially offensive. But Mick's a Miner and Jamie's a Chef. Get past that and listen to his story.

 

Jamie is well chuffed to see that some of his cookery lessons are getting results | Watch Jamie's Ministry of Food FREE on 4oD http://vodapp.grid.channel4.com/c4links-web/VODLink.do?t=season&i=2756088 Download Jamie's Ministry of Food on iTunes ...

To me, being a champion means finding ways to leverage tools like Office365 to make work easier so we can enjoy our work, have more time, and better serve our customers.

I agree with both the OP and the other responses already here as I write this. There's definitely not just a single definition.

 

Lately I've been reading and hearing about the roots of people, friends and strangers, and the journeys they've found themselves on after things that impacted them--not always good or safe things, either. So that's influencing my response right now to add in these facets:

 

A champion is also. . .

  • Someone who doesn't let adversity turn them into an adverse human being, but instead chooses to keep going, keep learning, and keep sharing what they've done and learned to help others.
  • Someone who gives without thought or care to what they'll get in return. There is no hidden agenda.
  • Someone who very probably would never give the word 'champion' to themselves because to them, they're just doing their jobs, or just sharing information.

Whether it's pushing forward with a product you sincerely know will help people, even though it means months of hard work on top of an organizational culture change (and a lot of moans and groans), or turning on that "Aha!" light for someone who's been struggling with a task, being able to turn dross into gold is an admirable and enviable trait. It's being a champion. 

The most beautiful thing about champions is that we are not all IT... lots of us come from pure operational business side of things and have had the luck to meet people like Sara and Pouneh at Ignite... this feels more like a pay it forward movement than anything else :hugging_face:

For me being a champion has been about creating other champions.

Fast tracking peoples modernisation of processes regardless of technical aptitude into 'digital thinking' uptake, enabling fresh collaborative opportunities in a continuous cycle of improvement onwards to other staff and the whole business with enthusiasm for the future possibilities.

Champions are people with a passion and enthusiasm to learn new tools and technologies. Exhibit a willingness to share their knowledge and skills, and lead and inspire others to seek ways of working smarter, not harder.
I believe a champion is some one who leads with the same passion that drives them.
Being a champions means to value the frustrations of others and make it a personal mission to educate and asssit those that are less knowledgeable than you.

@Karuana Gatimu great to be here as well and thanks a lot for the great presentation on Monday!
I am very much looking forward to collaborate in this community!

Here is my take of what Champions can be (it is from our #DigitalTogether guide network)

"Guide networks are bigger groups of volunteers that support change in a positive way. Often these guide networks are established for the adoption of culture affecting technologies (e.g. Enterprise Social Networks, Enterprise Wiki, Office 365). Guides are not trainers or professional coaches. They support by offering peer-to-peer support mostly in 1:1 or 1:few situations."

@Karuana GatimuI read your first quote and said....."Ouch!" Then was happy with what followed. I believe in the IT delivery industry there is a foundational element that has existed which separates technology providers and business based IT related acumen. Technologist are raised in one vertical silo and service delivery from business prospective generally migrated from technical side of IT. We gravitate to what is comfortable for us. There is a need for both but I feel we are in this together. We should not categorize each of us on one side of the other because all of us are both. To varying degrees. The extreme technologist I have to believe has a bit of the other in order to be valuable to final delivery and visa versa. When working in a talented project team, how do we support each other to bring out the other side in each one of us to bring us closer together?

 

A champion is one that has understanding of business intent and at the appropriate level, the required technical expertise to understand how they are so closely integrated. Horizontal vision and not vertical. In IT a fundamental, very simple conceptual model, is PPT. People, Process, Technology. A triangle. There is such an important need to have representatives at each of the vertices and because they have a passion for it. A champion most likely is born within the vertices but matures ultimately to exist in the lines that connect the vertices. At first in simple form but with time to embrace the more complex. Without experts living in the lines, i.e. Champions, IT initiatives will fail.

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