A change agent is an individual from outside or inside an organization which assists an organization change itself through centering on matters such as organizational development, improvement, and effectiveness. Always an agent of change capitalizes his efforts on tasks on a group and interpersonal relationships and changing structures and technologies (Grimsley, n.d). Consequently, the agent of change centers on the persons and their interactions within the organization.
Functions & Capabilities
An agent of change is, in essence, an advisor or consultant to an organization or brought as an outsider. The change agents take the responsibility of a trainer, researcher, counselor, or teacher. At times, they play the role or function of a line manager. Although some agents of change focus and specialize in one responsibility, some alter their functions depending upon the needs and issues of the organization (Grimsley, n.d). For you to become a dynamic change of change, you must have these four capabilities or competencies’:
- Extensive and Broad knowledge: You need to have a full organizational knowledge, and a broad range of multidisciplinary information, which includes diagnostic, evaluative, ethical, conceptual knowledge, and understanding of methods of change.
- Relational and operational experience: You need to be able to trust, listen, form, identify, report, and observe relationships. An efficient change agent also needs to be flexible and have the capability to deal with various behaviors and relationships.
- Maturity and sensitivity: For you to become an effective change agent, you require to be mature and sensitive enough to recognize your motivations and inspirations.
- Dependability: You have to be dependable, as a change agent you have an obligation to act accord with the beliefs and values you strive to advance in the organization.
Steering Change in an Organization
Steering change in today’s frenzied business environments is almost like trying to navigate a tiny boat back to seashore although caught in the core of a hurricane (Hartzell, n. d). Already there are many pressures and forces in an operation that you will need to counter so as to reach safely at the dock. Consequently, today’s organizations are just like the tiny ship, where managers faced with the paramount amount of aspects that need an instant retort, in the form of organizational adjustment. The pressures and forces that lead to the organizational changes are recognized as the external and internal environments.
The External Environment
These are the factors that happen or occur outside of the company, which cause change within the organization, and are afar the control of the enterprise. These factors include the economy, technology, customers, resources, competition, social, and political conditions. Although the environment happens outside of an organization, it contains vital influence on its current functions, long-term sustainability, and growth of the organization. Conversely, assuming the external environment is a harmful mistake for managers to perform (Hartzell, n. d). So it is significant for managers to adapt, and continually monitor the external environment, and work to initiating practical changes earlier on and avoid having a reactive approach.
The Internal Environment
It refers to the events, systems, structures, factors, employees, executive, and conditions within the organization, which are generally under the management or control of the organization. The factors that influence the internal environment are the style of leadership, the mission statement of the company, organizational belief systems and culture, and other factors connected to the company’s internal environment (Hartzell, n. d). Consequently, the internal organization of any business alters or changes its activities such as employee behavior, and attitudes, decision, adjustments in the leadership style, which will have significant impact on the company
Environmental Scanning and Change
For managers to respond to the forces of external and internal environments, they will depend or rely on the environmental scanning. Therefore, the Environmental scanning refers to the scrutinizing of the company’s external and internal environments for early signs, which recommend change so as to accommodate potential threats and opportunities. Further, allow changes and make adjustments that will permit the organization’s strength contest with its weaknesses. The SWOT analysis is commonly a type of environmental scanning that caters for the threats, weaknesses, opportunities, and strengths of the external and internal environments. While using the SWOT analysis, a manager will analyze the internal environment through observing the inadequacies within the company and later check the external environment happening independent of the company (Forbes, 2014). Consequently, the environment scans permits managers to implement the knowledge attained during the process, and decide what strategic changes to undertake or maintain the company’s competitive advantage.
In conclusion, adjustments, or change persists and continues to take priority and responsibility in academic research, company, and industrial practice. Even as it is hard collectively to recognize and accept change, it is paramount to remember that change management and to be a change agent is not a diverse discipline with strict distinct limits. However, it is a theory and process of change management, which illustrates some social disciplines, traditions, and sciences. As a consequence, the majority of change agents implement change management programs founded on complete change management forms, which described as recurring change management system.
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