Last week we began the discussion on change agents and I’d like to keep the conversation going. As important as identifying change agents is, it is also important to understand what they bring to your organization. So here’s what they do and why it’s important to your change effort.
They provide education
This might seem simplistic but the most common reason for resistance is lack of knowledge. The staff hasn’t learned from leadership that a change is coming, so they are resistant. The staff doesn’t understand why the change is necessary, they don’t understand the timetable or their role in the change so they resist any changes large or small. The result is a failed change project due to resistance. By bringing a change agent into your project, you create the ability for an influential staff member to change organizational thinking and use that change effort to create successful projects.
They impart education and training
Change agents provide invaluable support and if they possess technical knowledge they impart this information during lunch breaks and off the clock. The give your staff a practical way to think about the change and can literally show them the benefits and ease of use associated with your change project.
Help organize and review programs
Even in a horizontal organization the staff and the leadership are going to think about operational goals very differently. Change agents help leadership by reviewing change programs and providing relevant feedback on the projects strengths and weaknesses, an invaluable tool in risk management.
When done correctly, change is a very powerful tool. Each and every organization possesses tools that make change projects easier, change agents are just one tool.