How are you Developing Change Agents in your organization? You know those people placed to support a change, but continue doing the day job as well! Possibly you are one of those people or if not, you know someone who is.
I’ve been involved in strategic, organizational and business change for almost 20 years. Time and time again I have seen organizations appoint (or is it anoint?) change agents across the business, with a remit that requires them to be local supporter, advocate and eyes, ears and mouthpiece for change, whilst of course continuing to excel at their usual role.
These people are expected to take on the role of change agent and masterfully negotiate the role – off the side of their desk, or beyond. These people are provided with minimal training, coaching or mentoring to prepare themselves for the role – a change in itself for the individual.
In a past role, I worked hard to build up a network of such change agents across an organization. The diversity of operations, size and structural responsibility meant that as the change management person, I needed to rely on people to be the localised presence for my role. Now some of these people I was able to choose, others were chosen for me but the common factor was that these administrators, managers and specialists were all asked to this work as well as their existing role.
To successfully develop these people into change agents I started with Change Management 101 sessions, developing their understanding of peoples reactions to change, how we manage the people side of change and how this interacts with projects and other business activities. Using this knowledge and engaging them in great conversations, I shared my experiences of change and helped them to prepare for the role with shared knowledge and experience.
We also created some cool ways of getting people to share their thoughts, without spending hours in meetings and completing surveys. I got the Change Agents to think and work smart when it came to being the touch points for change in their areas and then worked to develop them into a successful change agent network through clearly understanding their role, with clear expectations and direction, but also access to a great tool kit of readily available information to support them in their endeavours.
We were able to cascade consistent and influential messages to the right people at the right time through these effective practices and of course create an enterprise wide planning approach using the feedback from all the change agents to inform strategic alignment and operational benefits.
Having been through this pathway and developed this successful network of change agents, I have now developed a workshop for others being thrown into this role. Using some of the work I did on my Challenge of Change workshop and of course my own experience, I’m now launching the Developing Change Agents Workshop as a 2 way interactive workshop, bringing together those that are new to change management and/or being asked to take on the role of change agent in their organization. I take the opportunity to discuss the impact of change, the role of change agent and cover things like the difference between project management and change management. It includes lots of activity and real life examples to help attendees get themselves in the mindset needed to be successful in the role of change agent.
by Rich Batchelor – President
More information on the Developing Change Agents workshop can be found by clicking here.