How Can Agents of Change Be an Asset in Your Organization?
There’s a lot going on in the world. And when it comes to agents of change, they can play a vital role in your organization or workforce.
From my view, there are two types of agents of change:
1. The people who are redirecting the flow of change
2. The people who want to be a part of that flow of change
The first type are the warriors. They are the strong, courageous, and confident change makers who see the injustices, inefficiencies, and inequalities and want to completely course correct. These people are willing to do what it takes to create a new flow of positive change. Their mission and goal is to make the world a better place.
The second type are the supporters. They may not have the courage (yet) required to go against the status quo, but they recognize that change is required and are ready to go with the new flow that the workplace warriors create.
When great change is happening, it’s important to have people who are willing to move with it instead of resist it.
Agents of change help with this. Many people might see change agents as rebels or defiant. But really, they are trying to direct the flow of change in a positive way.
When your organization has agents of change in it, growing, adapting and overcoming obstacles is much easier.
Here are 3 ways you can get your organization to recognize change makers and give everyone the opportunity to dip their toes into change.
1. Start Meaningful Conversations
Having conversations about empathy, open-mindedness, and open-heartedness in the workplace can be a powerful way to promote a more positive and supportive work environment.
Start by having open and honest conversations about what empathy, open-mindedness, and open-heartedness mean. Encourage employees to share their thoughts and experiences, and facilitate a dialogue where everyone feels heard and respected.
Lunch and learn sessions are a great way to do this! Invite guest speakers, experts in the field, or colleagues who have experience with empathy to share their insights and experiences.
Another thing you can do is hire a motivational speaker! Bring in an inspirational speaker to talk about empathy and its role in the workplace. (I know a great one!)
It's also important to recognize that younger generations may be more open to these conversations than older generations, who may be more resistant to change. Try to bridge the generation gap by emphasizing the importance of empathy and open-mindedness for everyone, regardless of age.
If you are open and understanding, it encourages employees to be open and understanding about other people's feelings, too, even if they don't share the same perspective or experiences. This can help create a more inclusive and supportive work environment where everyone feels valued and respected.
2. Discuss All the Good
Change can often be uncomfortable and even scary, but it can also bring about many positive things. Here are just a few examples:
1. Personal Growth: Change often requires us to step out of our comfort zones and try new things. This can help us grow as individuals, learn new skills, and develop new strengths.
2. Innovation and Creativity: Change can inspire new ideas and ways of thinking. It can push us to be more creative and innovative in our approach to problem-solving.
3. Increased Resilience: Going through change can be tough, but it can also help us build resilience and adaptability. This can help us better handle whatever challenges come our way in the future.
Overall, while change can be difficult, it often brings about positive outcomes that can help us grow and thrive in both our personal and professional lives.
3. Take Small Steps to Get There
As the saying goes, "Rome wasn't built in a day," this is particularly true when it comes to making changes within an organization. It's important to remember that you don't have to tackle everything at once. Starting with small, manageable steps is often the best approach.
Change agents, those who are pushing for change within an organization, can sometimes be so eager to see results that they try to rush the process. However, change is rarely easy, and attempting to move too quickly can lead to pushback and resistance from employees.
As a leader, it's important to facilitate change at a pace that feels good to most of your people. This means finding a balance between pushing for progress and respecting the needs and concerns of your employees.
Starting with baby steps can be a great way to ease into change. For example, if you want to implement a new system or process, start by piloting it with a small group of employees first. This can help identify any issues or concerns early on and make adjustments as needed.
It's also important to communicate clearly and frequently with your employees throughout the change process. Let them know what's happening, why it's happening, and how it will affect them. Be open to feedback and concerns, and address them as they arise.
Change is a process that takes time and effort. It's important to start small, communicate clearly, and be mindful of the needs of your employees. With patience and persistence, positive change can be achieved.
Encourage Change and Change the World
Change is a process that happens in real-time. Change agents stay engaged and live in the stream. They try to be a force of good wherever and whenever possible.
When it comes to following the force of a change agent, it's important to be discerning and tread lightly. You want to make sure that the people you're following are doing it for the right reasons and have the best interests of the organization, community, or cause at heart.
As a leader, you can find the change agents that are fighting for your organization by being proactive, taking initiative, and finding ways to contribute to the change effort. Whether it's by volunteering time or resources, sharing ideas, or simply being a positive influence on those around you, everyone can play a role in making change happen.
Don’t be scared to get involved. Get to know the change agents and find out more about their motivations and goals. Ask about their plans for implementation, the potential impact on stakeholders, and how they plan to address any concerns or challenges that arise.
Being an active participant in change requires a thoughtful and mindful approach. Together, we can create positive change that benefits everyone.
If your team or organization needs inspiration around facilitating change, reach out and let’s connect!