Change agent, the person responsible for the transformation to success in a company


Change is difficult to face in a company, but have you ever heard about the role of the change agent? This is a person within a company who helps the team to reduce resistance to transformation.

There are different types of change agents; however, they all help in change management to prevent organizations from disappearing by refusing to transform. While at times this can be challenging, in the end, such an approach will lead to success.

In this article, we will see the characteristics of a change agent and what kind of profiles can occupy this role in a company, among other fundamental questions to know if your company is going through a period of transformation.

what is a change agent in a company?

A change agent, or changemaker, is the person within a company who is responsible for proactively driving change and transformation efforts in companies, as explained in Estrategia Sustentable.

Thus, one of the main functions of a change agent is to manage the transformation and accompany the rest of the team in the process, so that it is successful and not a traumatic experience. This is achieved through the management, stimulation, motivation and guidance of their colleagues.

According to Gestiopolis, change agents “are leaders involved in every change process, who seek to achieve transcendental results”.

what are the characteristics of a change agent?

Change agents in a company are characterized by the following skills and qualities:

They are visionary and make informed decisions.
They develop the potential of each resource in the system, through a direct relationship with the personnel.
They create bonds of trust and affection with the team and, in addition, a change agent is usually a person who believes in himself to transmit this confidence to others.
They usually take the time to listen to the needs and opinions of others and convey messages in a clear way to establish assertive communication with people.
A change agent supports the team in finding solutions to their problems in order to reduce resistance to change.
They have a great capacity to understand their environment and equally what is a change agent has the power to impact it.
They are flexible and have the ability to react positively to unforeseen events as they arise.
They are patient, in order to adequately develop the change process.

what values does a change agent develop?

When it is decided to make a change within the companies, usually the aim is to improve the conditions, that is why it is important to have a change agent in a company, to make sure that this improvement actually happens.

A change agent must understand the change in all its dimension: ” describe the current reality in all its details, do not act automatically, understand what will happen with each element and what is expected to happen”.
Hemust avoid linear thinking of the process: “in the environment of uncertainty in organizations, it is impossible to have everything under control: projects, with the friction of change, will produce unexpected situations”. Therefore, it is better for a change agent to be prepared for different scenarios and to be flexible in the face of reality.
Maintain transparency throughout the project.
Be empathetic with the team: since every project will ultimately have an impact on the people who participate in the process or who receive the results, a working change agent must be empathetic and put himself in the shoes of those who are impacted, to keep their opinions in mind.

what are the functions of a change agent?

If you are wondering what a change agent does, remember that this role acts as a leader of the transformation, usually being the first to implement the change, in order to drive others.

Among the functions that a change agent must fulfill are the following:

Analyze the blockages that prevent the team from moving forward.
Recognize the potential of the company and its personnel, such as resistance and resilience, and provide concepts to take advantage of it.
Manage the fulfillment of the change sought in the business.
Overcome recurring bad habits of employees through positive strategies.
Assist and support the team with technical and social expertise.

what is the importance of a change agent in a company?

The ability to adapt and evolve is essential to the success of any company. However, change is not always easy to implement, especially in a business environment. This is where the role of a change agent comes into play.

As we have said, the objective of a change agent is to help the organization achieve its goals through the implementation of new processes, strategies and technologies. In that sense, this role becomes indispensable in the following circumstances :

1. It acts as a support for people

The implementation of changes in a company can be difficult due to the teams’ resistance to change. It is common for people to feel uncomfortable with changes in their roles and responsibilities, or to fear losing their jobs.

A change agent is able to work with people to overcome these emotions, and help them understand how change can be beneficial for everyone.

2. Key to identifying problems

In addition to overcoming resistance to change, a business change agent is also responsible for identifying areas of the business that need improvement and developing a plan to achieve this .

This may include implementing new technologies, restructuring departments or creating new work processes.

3. Helping the company stay competitive

This role is also essential in helping a company stay competitive. Changes in the market and the economy can affect a company, and it is essential to be prepared to adapt to these changes. Thus, a change agent can help a company identify trends in the marketplace and develop strategies to take advantage of them.

In short, a change agent is essential to help a company achieve its goals through the implementation of effective change. However, it is important to carefully select the right change agent for your company.

how to choose the right change agent?

identifying and selecting the right change agent for a company can be a challenge, as they are responsible for leading and guiding your organization through major change processes. However, by following some essential guidelines, you can ensure that you choose the change agent that best suits your needs and objectives.

1. Look for profiles with experience in the field

First of all, it is important to look for a change agent with industry experience. This way, this person will have a better understanding of the specific challenges and opportunities facing the company, and will be able to develop more effective strategies and action plans.

2. Identify profiles with similar change experience

It is also important to look for a change agent with experience in implementing changes similar to what the company needs. If the company needs to improve its online presence, look for someone with experience in developing e-commerce strategies. If the company needs to improve its efficiency, look for someone with experience in process automation.

3. Choose candidates with a collaborative mindset

Third, it is important to look for a change agent with a collaborative mindset. A change agent must be able to work with his or her team and listen to their ideas and suggestions. In addition, he or she must be able to communicate effectively and present his or her plan of action clearly and concisely.

4. Selecting a person with a focus on results

Finally, it is important to choose a change agent with a focus on results. This person must be able to measure the results of the change and make adjustments if necessary, and must be able to provide ongoing monitoring and evaluation to ensure that the established goals are being achieved.

When recruiting a change agent, you can use this Crehana staffing application template to find the ideal candidate for your company.

plantilla de Crehana

what types of change agents are there?

There are many types of change agents in an organization, but they all want to drive organizational change by implementing new systems, policies or ideas.

Internal change agent

An internal change agent is a person who is already part of your company and who you decide to give the responsibility of being in charge of the change curve.

However, this has certain problems. First, it creates a vacuum in the position that this person leaves. Second, not everyone has the skills to become a change agent.

The human resources team plays an important role here, since they must actively accompany the person selected to become a change agent and encourage him or her, if necessary, with a promotion within the company. Likewise, it will be necessary for them to look for a replacement for the vacancy that would remain.

External change agent

As its name suggests, an external change agent is a person outside the company, who must be coupled to the processes managed by the organization, in order to stimulate the transformation within it.

This may represent, at first, a challenge for the external change agent, since in certain opportunities it is likely that people in the company may find their suggestions and ideas inappropriate.

But, on the other hand, an external change agent will bring extensive knowledge and practical experience. But, since their salary is usually higher than that of an internal change agent, it is only suggested to hire them for short-term projects.

how to become a change agent in a company?

If you want to become what a change agent is in your company, instead of looking for an outsider, you must be ready to work on certain skills in yourself that will propel you to be the right leader to drive the transformation:

Learn to analyze the phases of change and discover where you and your team are at, so you can act accordingly.
Seek to cultivate your empathy and emotional intelligence, these soft skills will help you anticipate your team’s level of resistance to change and formulate an appropriate strategy to address them.
communicate well with the team! Being a good listener and getting a message across are necessary skills in what it takes to be a change agent.
Understand your company’s short- and long-term goals, so you know what drives your organization.
Establish a system of metrics to evaluate the transformation process, to corroborate personal and team efforts, and to be able to expose them as what a change agent is.

why does a company need a change agent?

In an increasingly changing and competitive world, it is essential for companies to constantly adapt and evolve to stay relevant and achieve their goals. However, implementing change in a company can be challenging due to employee resistance to change, lack of resources and lack of a solid strategic plan. This is where the role of a change agent comes into play.

A change agent can help a company stay competitive in several ways:

1. Identifies competitive strengths

First, change agents can help identify market trends and develop strategies to take advantage of them.

2. Improve internal processes

A change agent can also help a company identify and eliminate bottlenecks and inefficient processes. This can include implementing new technologies, restructuring departments or creating new work processes. By eliminating these bottlenecks, a company can improve efficiency and reduce costs, which will help it stay competitive.

3. Overcoming resistance to change

In addition, change agents can help a company overcome resistance to change in work teams. This person is able to work with people to overcome their concerns about change processes, and make them understand how transformation can benefit the company and themselves.

4. Help in measuring results

Finally, a change agent can help your company measure the results of the change and make adjustments if necessary. This ensures that the change is having the desired effect and that the goals set are being achieved, thus boosting team performance.

By the way, if you need help on this last point, check out Crehana’s performance tool. Used in conjunction with a change agent, it will be vital to your company’s success.

In summary, identifying and selecting the right change agent for a company requires an understanding of your company’s needs and objectives, as well as careful vetting of potential candidates. With the right change agent on board, a company will be better prepared to meet the challenges and take advantage of the opportunities of change.

We hope you now have more clarity on what a change agent is and how it helps in business transformation processes.

If you would like to further enhance your knowledge on organizational transformation and management strategies, be sure to check out the learning paths of our Leadership Academy. You will be able to develop the skills you need to be a visionary leader, capable of taking advantage of change, uncertainty and difficult moments to achieve success.


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