It’s no surprise that, as a Change Manager, I’m attracted to change and so, as I look forward to my next assignment I’m reminded that a Change Manager can’t just be a ‘change junkie’ and has to see through the old before taking on the new.
It’s easy to assume that the best Change Managers, and indeed change agents, should be change junkies. However, while such people thrive on the excitement of new challenges and opportunities, their weakness can be in delivering the end product. I have to admit that it’s something I’ve learned to be conscious of.
An interesting tool for developing change managers and agents is the Apter Change Agent Profile. It is based on the notion that change managers have to have a flexible mindset and pull on different ‘strands’ at any point in a change programme (rather than moving through a linear process) in order to be successful.
These strands require different motivational styles (a core element of the underlying framework, Reversal Theory), or values, as well as skills:
Initiation: Creating initial impetus (or ‘renewing’ the change), requiring energy, creativity and a challenging mindset
Organisation: Looking to the future, creating plans and structures required to underpin delivery of the change
Implementation: Getting the job done, working through issues and focusing on delivery
Impact: Paying attention to the impact of the change upon the organisation and its people, focusing on hearts and minds
All of these strands are important to the successful delivery of change and, according to the approach, a Change Manager should be aware of their strengths and potential weaknesses as they move through change.
The good news, however, is that the approach also fundamentally asserts that none of us is fixed – this is not about ‘traits’ but ‘states’ – and can all learn to access the styles required to manage each strand.