I have found myself in the role of change-agent often in the past 10-15 years. I like the role, though at times, I wonder if what it costs me emotionally is worth it.
Facilitating change is not for the faint of heart. Even though a group may all agree that change is necessary and the next smart move, when it comes to actually making hard decisions, many falter. Hence the need for someone who values change and is not afraid of helping it happen.
To be effective, here are some things to keep in mind if change is necessary for growth and forward motion:
- As you go through the process, not everyone will remember why you all agreed this was a good idea.
- Not everyone will be happy with the steps required to achieve what you, as a group, agreed to pursue.
- Someone needs to keep in minds (and keep preaching) that all change presents opportunity for those who embrace it and manage to avoid resenting it, no matter how it affects them personally.
- Change agents need to be convinced, because they will be second guessed.
- If it is not forced, change will not happen.
In my experience, the person who is responsible for seeing the change through to the end is not the one who is celebrated. They are in the role that compares to the parent of the junior high student who wisely limits social opportunities. Or the babysitter who does not allow the five-year-old to stay up past the prescribed bedtime. They have the larger results in focus as they hold to the prescribed actions.
Change-Agents are satisfied when they know they have done their job well and progress has been secured.