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The change agent’s dilemma: should I stay or should I go?

Posted by Stephen Parry on Oct 19, 2016 4:16:43 AM

When working with an organisation on an Adaptive transformation, one of the most important decisions has to do with who is going to be the change agent.

Change agents are chosen out of the ranks of an organisation by those involved in Adaptive training. Once chosen, this role will have a very long-lasting impact, not only on the organisation, but also their career.

I’ve seen this first-hand whenever I return to organisations I’ve worked with and speak to the designated change agents.  And what I’ve discovered is the role often becomes career defining.

What happens is they become so inspired by the ideas and strategies they develop with Adaptive that it changes the way they approach work. It changes their perspective in a way that influences everything they do.

For many it’s turning point in their career. If they are supported and stay in the organisation, they become leaders. If they aren’t, they find themselves unable to remain and move on to another role where their talents are respected. As Adaptive “true-believers” they seek out organisations and roles that dovetail with their new skill set. And because of these skills, they are highly sought after.

A common worry among some of the change agents I’ve known is how to deal with their company if management doesn’t want to change. If that seems odd, consider that talk of change is cheap. It’s easy to love the optics of change until the process starts impacting day to day operations in a very real way.

For those with concerns about not being supported, I tell them “Look, your job is to make your manager successful. Your job is to give your manager choices they currently don’t have. Your job is to help your manager make an informed choice. That’s what we’re training you to do.”

And if the manager decides to ignore their advice?

I tell them, “If you’ve given them an informed choice and they choose not to do something, then it is time for you to exercise your choice on whether to stay or move on.”

For those that choose to leave, the organisation they are leaving often has more problems than just losing talent. By not supporting change management effectively sets the organization on a course for decline. So one way or another, the exit becomes an inevitable outcome.

To talk with LloydParry about the power of transformational Adaptive change, please get in touch.

Topics: Adaptability, innovative culture, Change Leadership, Lean, Work Climate

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