Change is inevitable, a part of doing business in a world influenced by technology, globalization and evolving customer demands. Change management has in recent years shifted from a specialty to being more of a leadership quality that affects how companies and teams adapt to shifting marketplaces and continue daily operations.
Whereas change management used to primarily focus on operational and/or process improvements and cost effectiveness, it is now something that managers are using to think about how things get done regardless of institutional hierarchy. Organizations are looking to change agents to execute new processes and help employees adjust to new ways of doing things.
Change agents can be managers or employees, or external consultants hired to facilitate initiatives. Internal change agents have the advantage of being familiar with an organization’s history, operations and people, while external change agents can provide a fresh perspective without the influence of a firm’s traditions and culture, according to an article in the International Journal of Management, Business and Administration.
Whether an organization appoints internal change agents, hires outside consultants or does a combination of both scenarios, “the success of any change effort depends heavily on the quality and workability of the relationship between the change agent and the key decision makers within the organization,” the article stated.
Today, playing the role of change agent has never been more important. Failing to do so has never been more costly. If changes are not conducted smoothly and regularly, what would be milestones in a company’s growth could become morale disasters full of missed objectives and a lack of commitment from the people necessary to make change happen. With this in mind, here are some tips for those looking to become a better change agent.