Digital/agile transformation is one of the biggest trends in business today, and companies are investing heavily in new technologies and innovations. Many are starting from the bottom up, supported by employees who are open to change and willing to take action - change agents/change ambassadors - within the organisation. Their work can be supported by the Change Agent Manifesto, a Strategic Manifesto.
Who are the change agents, in other words the ambassadors of change?
Change agents are passionate about innovation and believe enthusiastically in its potential to help an organisation succeed.
Change ambassadors can come from any part of the organisation and often act as digital innovators - employees who introduce or promote new ideas or products. They often play informal roles such as 'data collectors', 'storytellers', 'influencers'... These roles are essential to navigate the human and psychological responses to change and transformation.
In order to gain support within the organisation, change agents need to realise from the very beginning that if they want to ensure cross-functional collaboration and gain the support of leadership, they need to acquire basic change management skills.
Strategic Manifesto, the Change Agent Manifesto
Change ambassadors can lead transformation through a strategic manifesto. With this tool, they can accelerate change and minimise complications and negative influences. This is the Change Agent Manifesto.
Change agents as facilitators of transformation and change managers
A lot of research has shown that any effort to bring about change in an organisation is often met with great resistance. As for digital transformation, research shows that although companies have to compete in the digital economy and they are investing heavily in new technologies and innovations, most companies are still making the transformation through the scattered efforts of innovators within the organisation, without formal, or even consultative, mandates.
As a result, innovators' efforts are often hampered by a risk-averse and slow-changing organisational culture. Not everyone believes in change and that new skills need to be learned or even "forgotten" to achieve future competitiveness. The truth is that any effort to change ultimately depends on the people in the organisation and if management does not sufficiently support change, people tend to become change inhibitors.
For a transformation effort to be truly successful, it must be supported by change management skills, processes and leadership. Self-driven and often self-empowered innovators quickly realise that a passion for the new technology and the expertise to implement it are not enough to succeed. In fact, they recognise that to achieve successful transformation, they need to become more immersed in change management and the cultural aspects of their organisation that respond to transformation. Change agents bring new thinking, a new mindset, expertise and experience in digitalisation to their organisations, which makes them catalysts for the initiatives that lead to successful transformation. They will build bridges between the CxO and other key stakeholders to deliver innovation.
But the job of change managers is not easy. No one is born as a change management expert, and for a change agent to be successful, he or she has to be able to do more than one thing: help other people in the organisation learn, change attitudes and learn new ways of working. This is where the Strategic Manifesto, the Change Agent Manifesto, provides support.