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Ready to Become a Rebel Change Agent?

by Samantha Searle  |  March 11, 2015  |  Submit a Comment

Do you have an appetite for risk and dare to challenge the status quo? Dynamic and disruptive change is now the norm for business. It demands a different approach from employees to drive success in this kind of environment. When faced with relentless change, there is no time for deliberation. You need to “act now and fail fast” before someone else does.

As a leader of a BPM or business transformation program, this means one of two things. Either you step up to become a rebel change agent, or you seek out other change agents who can act on your behalf. Rebel change agents relish this kind of challenge. They are not intimidated by constant change or organizational politics. For them, change is an irresistible opportunity to be seized with both hands.

So how do you know whether you can make a good rebel change agent? If you don’t think you have the attributes, how can you find others who do possess them? As a start, here are three key attributes to look out for in yourself and others:

  • The ability to ask thought-provoking questions that inspire others to think differently
  • A combination of entrepreneurship, political savviness (with Machiavellian tendencies) and emotional intelligence
  • The willinginess to experiment with new ideas and fail fast

Our research shows that at least one third of CIOs are driving business transformation in their organization; around a quarter are led by the COO and even more are being led by their direct reports. This is a fantastic opportunity for IT and business leaders, until you remember that 70% of all transformation fail in the long-term. Escaping this fate means adopting a different approach; that is where rebel change agents can help.

If you’re a business or IT leader tasked with leading a transformation:

  • Empower passionate and tenacious individuals to build a network of rebel change agents
  • Understand that rebel change agents will make other leaders feel uncomfortable as they question their decisions
  • Recognize that this discomfort shows that the shift in mindset is taking hold and it is not a bad thing!

Further advice and discussions on how to get from leading BPM to driving business transformation in a digital age will be available at our 2015 BPM summits:

I’m keen to hear from you if you are in a change agent role or seeking to empower others to rise up as rebel change agents. Please leave your comments here or message me on Twitter @scsearle

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Category: bpm  business-process-management  business-transformation  change  customer-experience  digital  summit  

Tags: bpm  business  change  change-agent  digital  it  summit  transformation  

Samantha Searle
Research Analyst
5 years with Gartner
5 years IT industry

Samantha Searle is a research analyst in the Business Process Management team, focusing on process governance and getting started in BPM. Previously, she worked as a research specialist for Gartner's Best Practices Council…Read Full Bio

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