There is a serious need for strong senior leadership when it comes to a Protection of Personal Information (PoPIA) Act compliance project.
It is fast becoming an essential requirement that organisations of all sizes have senior leaders who not only execute instructions for change, but are also visibly on the forefront of leading and implementing the change. The changes that PoPIA brings to an organisation affect people, processes and technology. It is therefore important that senior leaders have the right approach to manage and support their project teams – those who are planning, designing, and implementing the change that is required to become PoPIA compliant.
The Role of Senior Leadership
A compliance project like PoPIA is a typical “grudge” project. The change it brings often impacts many people within an organisation, which means that the task of the project team is not an easy one. The diagram below depicts the most important attributes that a senior leader should have to ensure a high level of change resilience in his / her team.
In practice this means:
- Openly show your support for the project: A key contribution of any senior leader is to provide support for the change in a visible way throughout the project. It shows the importance of the change and provides endorsement from the top. This also helps with getting buy-in from all stakeholders across various levels within the organisation.
- Apply your ability to influence: A project has a far higher success rate of getting things done, fast tracked and implemented when there are senior leaders who use their influence both within and outside the organisation to support the change.
- Understand the strategic benefits of the change and accept accountability for implementing the change in your area: When it comes to change impact (people, process and technology), senior leadership’s ability to plan ahead is crucial. Being accountable shows your project team and the organisation in general that they can rely on you to take ownership of the all key decisions and to manage risks for the duration of the project.
- Ensure Effective Communication: Communication is the main artery that conveys the key messages, which in turn forms is the lifeblood of all projects. If there is a blockage that causes misunderstandings or confusion, it can place the success of the project at risk. Senior leaders have to ensure that the communication of key messages from the top to the bottom, as well as across the organisation, are kept flowing and all blockages are resolved effectively at all times.
Leading a change project like PoPIA compliance is never an easy task. Having the right senior leadership with the ability to take hold of the change and steer the organisational ship in the right direction, makes sailing in the rough seas of compliance a whole lot easier, and a whole lot more likely to succeed.
Get in touch if you’d like to assess your situation and outline the next steps.