Leadership from the top is perhaps the most important factor in successfully getting all the folks in your organization to adopt SharePoint as a way to work.

So says Susan Hanley, a consultant helping organizations make the transition to SharePoint a triumph rather than a failure. “Executives need to engage in that behavior, show that it’s something they value,” she explained. “Even if they don’t use it themselves, they can see the value to the organization and can promote it as such.”

Susan typically gets involved with organizations after they already have SharePoint but are struggling with the idea of “We are going to be using it, so let’s make sure we get it right,” so the organizations achieve the business value they desire.

“There’s a recognition that it’s not just about installing technology. It’s a change in how people work. You must align the technology with the culture and processes,” Hanley emphasized. “They need to educate users in a way that engages them, rather than saying ‘Here’s one more thing to learn.’ ”

This is because, fundamentally, SharePoint is not like a new accounting system that you have to use, since an accounting firm must use SOME kind of software. SharePoint replaces e-mail, which some people believe works just fine; or creates workflows, which people who have to walk a paper into the next office actually look forward to as a way to get up from their desks for even a minute. Instead, Susan says, “You have to weave it into the fabric of the organization. You have to find that critical engagement moment that moves the needle of business value so users say, ‘Aha, I see now.’ ”

You can see Susan present sessions on adoption and governance at SPTechCon SF 2014 next week.