05 Apr Change Agents Needed To Get to Future of Work
Attention all leaders! Change agents needed to get to future of work!
A change agent is someone who regardless of his or her title is able to bridge between the foundations of past and present successes and inspire others to move towards a new and sometimes radically different future.
In most cases ‘change management’ focuses on managing a change or reacting to a change whereas change leadership is about creating change agents who are able to lead coworkers, teams and leaders towards the future of work.
Lets take digital transformation for example, every single industry is being affected by the need to transform digital strategies and to build new systems that technologically will allow the business to thrive.
The challenge with a pure ‘digital strategy’ is often the focus is on the tactical and the practicalities of integrating new digital strategy and as a project digital transformation becomes a ‘change managed’ process.
What do I mean by this?
My mantra when it comes to creating future workplaces that are ready today is:
“People FIRST – technology enables the people experience”
In other words ALL strategies need to be built with the focus on answering the question:
“HOW do we want to create the most valuable experience for our customers and our employees?”
In most cases the strategic focus is based on answering the question: “How can we get this new digital strategy implemented ASAP?”
It’s the wrong question and it leads the whole strategy to be focused on ‘technology’ first NOT people first.
What this means is that a change leadership approach with a goal of creating ‘change agents’ is the best approach.
When strategy is focused on employee and customer value then the digital strategy will be rock solid.
I have worked with too many clients where they have had to do double or triple the work AFTER implementing a digital strategy plan – why? Because there was not a people first focus and people being people may adapt to a new technology but they will ‘survive’ with the changes not ‘thrive’.
Change agents need to be nurtured, innovation needs to be rewarded and organizations need to focus on creating a culture where ‘people focus first’ is the driving strategic focus.
How do you nurture and create change agents in the company?
- Identify your team members who are naturally geared to wanting to create wins for the customers and the employees.
- Provide ‘change leadership’ sessions in your regular meetings – educate your teams on what it means to be a change leader – help them see the psychological pathways of how people deal with change.
- Involve the entire company in preparation for strategic planning – depending on the size of your company you can do a survey online and anonymous, you can do informal one on ones or you can create a strategic planning one pager and get everyone in the company to provide their input.
- Be willing to talk with every person in the company and address any concerns, negative feedback or resistance.
- Be prepared to have the answers, the empathy and to set the vision for your change agents to lead the change.
- Ask your identified change agents to help you to inspire and bring everyone on board with the needed changes for the company.