HOW CAN I BECOME A CHANGE AMBASSADOR?
A Change Agent is a kind of internal advisor, a support person within a company, whose job is to help the company's employees to make the transition to a new way of working, a new operating model, set by the company's management. He or she may be one of the employees in the department, in which case it is important that he or she has no supervisory authority and is affected by the change in the same way as the others. Another option is to act as an external consultant to the company. What both have in common is that they do not have direct means, they cannot instruct anyone to accept the change, they have to get the change accepted by their colleagues in other, indirect ways. The success of change agents’ work depends on four key factors: motivation, trust, empathy and influence.
An effective Change Agent needs to maintain a long-term commitment to change, which requires enthusiasm, investment of energy and constant effort. All this can only be sustained if you act with total conviction, sincerely believe in your principles and communicate them authentically to your staff. If the change agent is not convinced of the importance of change, he/she will be discredited and unable to motivate others. He/she must be able to articulate honestly and credibly why he/she supports change. It is a common mistake to try to sell the need for change by exaggerating the expected results. A more practical, specific source of motivation can be given, for example, "We are working with a lot of errors at the moment and it is taking a lot of time to correct the errors and apologise to customers."
The speed of transition to change is greatly influenced by the existence of a climate of trust. If this is lacking, employees will resist change as long as possible. It takes a long time to explore and evaluate all alternative options and finally to accept the need for change. These side-tracks that slow down the process can be avoided by taking the time to build trust and effective collegial relationships with colleagues before introducing new changes. The following factors can help to build trust:
Empathy means more than simple compassion or caring, it also means being able to see things from the other person's point of view, to tune into the other person's feelings and thoughts. A good Change Agent can sense and react to the feelings that the winds of change are stirring up in colleagues. For example, if someone is frightened by the idea of change, it is important to clarify and make clear the exact steps to be taken, to make the goal achievable. If someone is unhappy about criticism of the way they have been working, it is important to ensure that their work is valued and appreciated before the process is started. It is therefore worth considering the following views and feelings about possible change:
It is important to clarify which groups I need to influence, who are the people whose attitudes I can influence and who are the people I can influence. The following factors are key to this:
The role of Change Agent is increasingly becoming part of every position in a company, regardless of the number of years spent in the company and the experience gained. The future belongs to those who are able to support their company in innovations, which could be the creation of new products or services, a new customer relationship or a new marketing strategy.