Becoming a Successful Change Agent

Contemporary executives are constantly struggling with change. Whether it be the rate of change in globalization, the economy, technology, or laws, there are certainly plenty of reasons to be concerned.

Despite the scope and scale of change, many managers lack the tools to connect them all. They can become overwhelmed by the juggling and multi-tasking of thought processes change management can take. When all of these factors are considered to be separate and different, they can become difficult to digest. However, seeing “change” as a holistic process can make the entire thing to be to manage.

Companies that flourish are those that create an environment that encourages creativity and fresh ideas. If you want your company to be a leader, you must first be a leader yourself. This means you must master the ability to learn and grow.

Don’t get me wrong, change isn’t easy. Being a “change agent” is even more difficult, just ask President Obama. It still can be done. There are several key traits necessary for a leader to be a successful change agent.

First, you must be open minded. Rather than being a critical devil’s advocate, you must welcome new thoughts and ideas and give them every chance to succeed. If not, your staff may hesitate to propose new ideas for fear that you might immediately shoot them down and embarrass them. This is the most critical characteristic of innovative management.

Second, you must be open to changing not only your organization, but yourself. You must force yourself to reach out to disconnected members of your organization, even when it’s uncomfortable. If not, you will only instigate resistance from the disconnected. You should make a statement to your peers that you care about teamwork, innovation, growth, and community. If a proposal is in conflict with these values, you should go in a different direction.

By opening up, sharing, and defining your values, your staff will see you as more credible, and be more receptive to change.

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