Change Agent 101: How to Make a Change in Your Community

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  1. 1. WHAT IS A CHANGE AGENT? Such a person assumes leadership responsibilities and serves as a catalyst for a group, stirring people up in an effort to make positive change occur. - Social Change Model of Leadership Development 2
  2. 2. CHARACTERISTICS OF A CHANGE AGENT Knowledge Skills Curiosity Motivation Communication 3
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  4. 4. 1. BE CLEAR ABOUT YOUR BIG GOAL What is it that you are really trying to accomplish? Do you have a vision of your end goal? Keeping the end goal in mind is critical to forward movement. You will experience many setbacks on the way as some of your tactics will fail. If you dwell on the latest setback it is easy to become frustrated. 5
  5. 5. 2. CHOOSE A LEAD All too often, people see problems but wait for someone else to address it. Leadership is a choice. If you see a problem, own it. And fix it. 6
  6. 6. 3. LOOK FOR LEVERAGE POINTS Leverage points are places where you can achieve a multiplier effect from focused efforts. Who has major say in your community? Who can you brainstorm with? 7
  7. 7. 4. PLANT LOTS OF SEEDS If you are looking to implement a major culture change, you will need to start planting seeds in various parts of the organization. Be on the constant lookout for: Opportunities for small wins New allies Ways to change the language used to discuss your issue 8
  8. 8. 5. DEVELOP A NETWORK Networks are key enablers for the change agent. Members of a network can provide each other encouragement, ideas, and other support. They can also provide leverage by building support for change in diverse parts of the organization. Networks also reinforce the fact that you are not alone a key factor in being able to persist. 9
  9. 9. 6. MAINTAIN YOUR OPTIMISM The optimist sees opportunity in every difficultly. Optimism gives the enduring belief that, working with and through others, we can make a difference Optimism is also infectious. 10
  10. 10. 7. BE CREATIVE ABOUT TACTICS Keep the end goal in mind while you look for tactics that will help you find ways to go over, under, around, or through the obstacles. If one tactic doesnt work, try something else. If you dont have a knack for finding creative solutions, partner with colleagues who do. 11
  11. 11. 8. BE HONEST IN YOUR ASSESSMENT What would happen if your change initiative is implemented and then fails miserably? How would that impact your agencys ability to perform its mission? How much money and energy will have been wasted? Will it cause public embarrassment? 12
  12. 12. 9. CULTIVATE CREDIBILITY You need to take the time to cultivate your credibility in your organization. Implementing some modest but innovative changes within their immediate sphere of influence can help them build credibility as an innovator and provide valuable learning about how to get things done in the organization. 13
  13. 13. 10. KEEP ASKING WHY? Those who have been around for awhile may have become accustomed to an absurd status quo. Its important to find ways to keep the fresh perspective of the newbie. Just because youve always done it that way doesnt mean its not incredibly stupid. 14
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  20. 20. WHERE DO YOU GO FROM HERE Remind yourself daily Actions reflect beliefs Power in numbers But dont be afraid to stand alone 21
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