The role of a change manager. From change agent to change master. The 9 different roles played by a change manager. Qualities of a change manager.
Anyone who helps a team or organization to achieve a specific goal, is involved in change management.
A change manager may be a full time internal change consultant, an organizational development professional, a leader of a division, a middle manager charged with the responsibility of bringing about a change in his/her area or a team leader who gets employees excited about a change.
Depending on the type of change he/she is tasked with, a change manager or change agent may perform a few of the following roles. However a change master, is able to perform all of these roles.
Like a medical practitioner, the change manager will begin by diagnosing the organization or team in order to identify specific issues that need to be addressed. He/she will begin by analyzing:
From this the diagnostician will determine the type of change required by the organization or division.
The first step in any change is to diagnose a situation and determine what needs to change.
A change master doesn't just 'manage change.'
He/she does whatever it takes to solve a specific problem or achieve a clearly defined goal.
The most complex role of a change manager or change agent, is getting others to 'buy in' to the change process. The means he needs to get them to do something to make the change work. This could involve them learning new skills, playing a new role, or changing a habit.
The change manager in his role as a facilitator gets involved in:
Get people to 'buy-into' your change.
Designing a change process that will achieve specific change goals, is a creative process. In his role as a designer, the change manager gets involved in:
Many different roles are required for a change process to work. Often a change manager or change agent will play the role of a project manager and coordinate the activities of the different role players. Typical roles in a change process include:
Those involved in managing the change, and those who will be affected by the change, often are surprised by their feelings when confronted by change. Resistance, frustration and confusion are common emotions associated with change.
A successful change agent or change manager educates people about what to expect from the change process. This includes dealing with topics such as:
Many individuals dislike change. While they see that it may benefit the company, change to them simply means additional work, inefficiencies, feelings of incompetence, and maybe a more limited career path.
The skilful marketer creates the belief that participating in this change will be:
To do this, the marketer applies innovative marketing techniques more often found in the advertising, communications industries. These include:
Why is the Oprah show so successful? People react with love, energy, excitement and creativity to anything that touches their soul.
An inspiration agent finds ways to use the change process to:
Often individuals who contribute to a change, get discouraged when they find they are being punished rather than rewarded for their efforts. This situation arises when the reward and recognition systems in the company are not aligned to the change. The change agent often needs to ensure that the following systems support the change he/she is making.
He/she needs to integrate all the changes that need to occur, to support the major change being made, into a comprehensive change strategy.
Some larger scale changes such as a culture change, involve a journey of multiple phases, with multiple players going on different journeys. Here the change co-ordinator needs to ensure that while different players are going on parallel journeys, they still all support one another.
Since organisations are integrated systems, any change to one part of the system may trigger or unexpected changes to other parts of the system. Similarly, unless you consider changes to the culture of your company, you may find that certain elements of the system may prevent your change from working.
The monitor role regularly measures progress towards the change goals. He/she constantly questions "what is working", "what isn't working" and "what do we need to change".
He/she provides regular feedback on progress to:
He/she encourages everyone involved in a change to:
While many people will find that they can perform one or two of the agent agent roles with ease, a change master would be able to perform all the change roles. The ideal change master would have the following qualities: