Once the change is made, the client senior leader and the service provider senior leader need to get together to ensure they share a compelling, clear purpose. This involves the answer to the question “Why?” It is natural for both parties to be reluctant to change, which can easily be overcome by understanding the benefits of working together to achieve a common goal..
Look ahead and see opportunity. This is the role of senior leadership, but they must carry the rank and file with them. Make seeking opportunity part of the regular conversation. The service provider will ask “What do our clients want from us?” and “What new trends will impact our relationship?” Providing space to experiment, a new leader will often bring new ideas and you do not want momentum to be squelched by being immovable. Advertise successes; nothing breeds success like success. Show that the status quo is not enough anymore.
Seek out what is not working. During the change, there may be unfavorable actions and poor processes that can be changed by both parties. Apply guidance to the incoming leader to steer them to make the right choices.
Promote calculated risk taking and experimentation. Do not ask “why,” ask “Why not?” Bear in mind that dozens of experiments fail and without those failures you could not obtain success. Look for boundary-spanning partnerships. This way, the new senior leader becomes part of a united team, which is greater than the two halves.