6 Reasons to Create Your Own Internal Change Agents
Having selected, trained and coached several groups of internal change agents over the years, across different industries, its been a privilege to witness the massive changes they were able to facilitate and tremendous results they delivered. Not to mention their rapid career progress and career expansion.
Talent management – fast track
If you want a fast track talent management initiative, then this could be an excellent choice for your company.
Most of the change agents I have been involved with, were by definition, expected to work across departments and rapidly create cohesion where there was disarray, improve the quality of thinking where there was confusion and improve processes, were there was waste and rework.
The insights and working knowledge accumulated by working in this way helps to expand perspectives and develop new ways of problem solving, in directly practical and high value ways.
Why grow your own change agents?
There are at least 6 key reasons to grow your own change agent talent internally… (besides accelerating performance improvement across your business)
1. Expanding and developing business know how
Combine existing business knowledge with new capabilities and attitudes, in order to make change happen for real, from the inside out.
Sharing learning from their personal experiences with working teams, can help prevent recurring problems (and costly repeated mistakes), due to ignorance or blinkers, which can create poor understanding of critical activities, within the business workflows.
2. Leverage relationships and credibility
Build, broaden and leverage existing internal relationships and connections between key stakeholders, to create greater cohesion across departments, teams and workforce as a whole.
Developing productive, supportive and useful relationships with business leaders and helping them facilitate team workshops to improve their performance, helps build greater credibility for business change programmes and a clear results focus for all to adopt .
3. Engage and retain top talent
Engage top talent and create accelerated career paths for greater retention and improve overall employee engagement in the process.
Participants become extremely valuable assets to the company.
4. Bring new life to companies mission, vision and values
Sharing and disseminating clear context around a compelling, vibrant and alive company vision.
Change agents can help translate high level strategic statements, into real and practical terms, that may have previously seemed irrelevant to working teams, in their day to day roles.
5. Sustainable change becomes more likely
What happens after change consultants leave?
What happens after the training course finishes?
From my own experiences, being left holding the change flag proudly and with full conviction, you can become a target for regression and unresolved conflicts.
To make change stick, you need to keep the process alive and kicking. This is a great way to maintain momentum towards a full realisation of the change potential you are pursuing. And full ROI.
6. Ongoing skills transfer for culture change
Bringing on successive teams of internal change agents helped to create and retain a widespread culture of continuous improvement.
After 12-18 months a new change agent intake group can be formed and the outgoing team can pass the baton, in a formal handover process.
Supporting this transfer of learning helps accelerate the positive effects and impacts of later internal change teams even more.
Other subsequent benefits…
From my observations and experiences, with the right vision, leadership and support, internal change agents go on to lead their own high performing teams very well, enabling more effective followership.
They have a wider and deeper appreciation for the systems, processes, roles and responsibilities across the whole business and industry. Their ‘big picture’ is bigger and more expanded than before.
They also become very open minded and think very differently about change and can have a positive viral effect throughout the organisation, given well thought out career planning following their ‘tour of duty’ as change agents.
Change skills are one of the best investments you can make, in the accelerated evolution and performance of your future leaders and their teams.
Developing your own internal change agents is an important catalyst for cultural change in any medium or large organisation.
Who stands out in your organisation, as a natural, internal change agent in the making, already?
Nick Le Clere is a strategic change consultant and facilitator, executive leadership coach, trainer, innovator and speaker, running online webinars and learning events for conscious business leaders of the future.
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