How An IT Manager Can Become A Change Agent

by drjim on July 14, 2011

Image Credit IT Managers Need To get The Bright Idea To Become A Change Agent

IT Managers Need To get The Bright Idea To Become A Change Agent

If there is one thing that is constant in IT it’s that things are always changing. What this means for you as an IT manager is that you have an important decision to make: are you going to resist change or are you going to become a change agent? If you choose to become a change agent, then we’re going to need to have a talk about how you can go about doing that…

What Is A Change Agent?

A change agent? Just what the heck is that and why would you want to become one? If you take a moment to look around you in the workplace, you’ll see that change is always happening. More often than not the folks on your IT team are complaining about it.

There are a couple of ways to deal with how people feel about change. The simplest is to join them – find things to complain about. However, this really won’t solve the problem and it’s not going to do anything to advance your career.

There is another path. On this path you make the conscious decision to become a change agent.

How Can You Become A Change Agent?

Understanding that you need to become a change agent and then figuring out how to make this happen are two completely different things. Ultimately you are going to want to be able to motivate members of your team to want to change.

In order to make this happen, you are going to have to change the way that you view your work environment. You can’t do this from where you are right now. Instead you are going to have to mentally change how you view your team’s current situation.

What you’ll need to do is to pretend that you are an outsider, someone who doesn’t work for your company. When you look at the way that things operate through these eyes, everything will look different. Where changes need to be made will quickly become obvious. Where there is misalignment with how the rest of the business is operating will become clear.

Once you’ve identified where the changes need to occur, then you’ll know where your change agent skills are needed. This is where your thought leadership skills are going to be needed. Talk with others on your team and determine what the next step needs to be. This is how change happens.

What Does All Of This Mean For You?

The reason that we all decided to get into the IT game was because it was sexy and attractive. What caught our attention is that it seemed to always be changing – if we didn’t want to experience change then we would have all gone into accounting. To succeed in a world filled with change, we need to learn how to become change agents.

Change agents are those IT managers who are able to get up and get things moving. They may not do all of the work, but they have the ability to get others started. In order to develop the skills that you’ll need to become a change agent, you’re going to have to be able to take an outsider’s look at your IT team and determine what steps need to be taken in order to better align what your team is doing with what the company needs to have done.

Nobody ever said that it was going to be easy to become a change agent. However, if you want your IT team to be able to contribute to moving the company forward, then you are going to have to be willing to step up and assume this role. Leadership comes with the job of being an IT manager.

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Management Skills™

Question For You: Do you think that you can only be a change agent on one topic at a time?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

One of the biggest challenges that all IT managers face is the simple fact that often their teams expect them to know everything. In the era of massive data sets, this means that when your IT team runs into a problem that just can’t fit into a standard off-the-shelf database they’re going to show up on your doorstep with a problem that they can’t solve. When this happen, you had better know about MapReduce and Hadoop…

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