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ChangingMinds Blog! > Blog Archive > 24-Jun-11

 


Friday 24-June-11

The loneliness of the internal change agent

There is a role that some of us play that can be rewarding and exhilarating. However, it can also be lonely and frustrating. Although the role can have many different names, from Business Change Manager to Quality Consultant to Transformation Manager, the gist is generally the same: get people to act in ways that improves the business. It seems a no-brainer but it can do in you brain as many people ignore the obvious and defend personal interests rather than reach for the greater good.

So if you plan to get into the sexy world of change, do also prepare to be rather alone. At best, people will feel sorry for you; at worst, they will hate you. You come to disrupt their lives and do the dirty work of managers who prefer not to get involved. Don't kid yourself about this -- although you may serve their agenda, you are never one of them. And if things go wrong or the change does not really work, it will be your fault, of course.

But it doesn't have to be this way. Done well, a change agent is seen as a helpful collaborator and, although additional work is created in the short term, it is appreciated longer term. The critical route is to act in an authentic way, most especially with senior managers and those who believe themselves above change. This may lead to disagreements with them but failing to get them truly engaged is a very common reason for change failure.


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