Beware the Siren Call of Becoming a "Change Agent" - They're Usually Killed in the Line of Duty

Related to the difficulties of delivering on time and on budget are other promises that should never be taken at face value:

"We want you to be a change agent and shake things up."

Bosses and boards often espouse change as a desirable goal but less often embrace its implications — e.g., firing old hands, closing or selling historically-core assets, or challenging organizational assumptions. Officials generally like things stirred but not shaken (unlike James Bond's martini). So if you are told that you've been hired or assigned to shake things up in the interests of change, don't believe it — even if it's clear that a turnaround is necessary.

This promise tastes dust the minute controversy surfaces. Controversy is embarrassing, time-consuming, and takes eyes off the situation needing change and onto the personality of the change agent.

From: "Promises You Should Never Believe (or Make) - Rosabeth Moss Kanter - HarvardBusiness.org."

Before you try to 'shake things up,' always consider, deeply, realistically, your motivations for doing so.

Maybe the only change agents who actually change things leave organizations where they've found 'stirring' ineffective and start their own gig?

Open to commentology...

Posted via web from Jen's Posterous

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