You need to have internal champions that are passionate and committed to this process and as excited, if not more excited, than the rest of the team. So, you can see it, you can hear it, you can feel it in their action. They're leaning forward, they're asking questions, they're mandating participation and they're clearing roadblocks.
One mistake we've seen is that program leads overestimate their level of support and then they can't understand why the initiative was not successful.
In the whitepaper ‘Customer-Centric Transformation’, we get into the idea of Permission versus Sponsorship. In short, Permission is the idea that the executive is really allowing you to pursue this initiative while Sponsorship means the exec is actively involved in the program and helping you deal with barriers along the way.