Your Best Kept Secret Agents – The Evolving Role Of Change Agents In An Organization

The need for change is something we all feel from time to time. You get too comfortable in your role, your daily tasks, your responsibilities and start doing things in a way you always do. And that’s when it gets dangerous. When you only do something in a certain way just because that is how it’s done and stop asking yourself why, or how you can do better, you are straight up jeopardizing your business. And it doesn’t matter whether you are a leader or an employee, you can become the change you want to see. Especially in the fast-paced environment we are living in today, change and innovation are important to stay relevant and successful – both on personal and company level.

Of course, if you are an agile startup built on rapid experimentation with all team members taking full personal responsibility, constant innovation and change is inevitable, it is a part of your everyday life. You can react fast, bring your ideas to the table and make them into reality quickly. No excruciating board meetings or endless all staff discussions are needed for every decision. But when you are part of a larger entity, things get more complicated. In order to sustain a culture of adaptability and change, to march on the frontlines of innovation, you need dedicated change agents within the organization.

Who are change agents?

Change agents are dedicated people with a mission to lead change: who promote and enable change to happen within any group or organization. They are viewed as an entity that motivates, inspires, catalyzes and potentially leads the change process in hopes of a positive outcome. 

“Being a change agent requires stamina, passion and commitment. The journey can be rocky and will face at times resistance. But if you are willing to dedicate yourself to that role you will be rewarded with a meaningful and successful transformation.” – says Jochen Faugel, Head of Consulting at ArcticStartup.

Who can become a change agent?

As a leader who already realized the need for change, you can do two things: you can hire an external consultant to facilitate change management or you can identify your internal change agents and train them. If you are a part of a bigger organization, you most likely already have change agents, even if they are not dedicated people, but members of the team who are the natural driving force of change. They can be part of the leadership, management teams or employees who are respected by their peers. Working with internal change agents comes with the advantage of them already knowing your processes, the pain points, and having personal connections to others.

Change agents come in all shapes and sizes, it all boils down to personal style and motivation. You can even identify common archetypes, such as the Coach who will act as a trainer and a mentor, the Guru who is the infinite source of wisdom, the Believer with strong focus on principles or the Boss Whisperer (this one speaks for itself) – see the full list here.

Your role as a leader is to let change agents embrace their personal approach to facilitating change by trusting and training them.

How can you help your change agents?

Once you identified and have your dedicated change agents, you just need to make sure they have all the tools to function as true agents. They need to best utilize their leadership skills, enhance their ability to connect with their peers and influence them positively with an overall winning mentality.

“Over the years we have worked with plenty of different companies and organisations. What we found is that successful ones understand the constant need for change within our fast paced environment. This was the inspiration for us to develop the Change Agent Workshop Program with the goal to coach and support people on their way of becoming the next great change agents – because we understand that successful transformation requires people with the right mindset and ability to drive change.” adds Jochen.

There is no better day to start your transformation than today. Read more about our different Change Agent workshops here.