A checklist: 10 key competencies all change agents need

When I work with organisations to develop internal change agents, the first thing I get them to do is rate how each proficient each person is against each of the 10 competencies outlined below. We do this in a 360-degree format, which then helps focus learning and development activity.

Why not try it for yourself?

1. Strategic thinking: The ability to keep the ‘big picture’ in mind and focus on the end-game.

2. Analytical thinking: The ability to make sense of huge amounts of financial, employee and performance data.

3. Commercial thinking: The ability to understand the wider context within which your organisation is operating and the opportunities the change presents.

4. Planning and organising: The ability to ensure you and whoever else you’re working with on the change get the right things done at the right time.

5. Handling complexity: The ability to negotiate your way through various organisational systems, particularly where other organisations are affected by the change.

6. Communication: The ability to speak and write in ways that are easy-to-understand and compelling.

7. Influence, persuasion and negotiation: The ability to get the majority of people on board, adopting a ‘win-win’ approach.

8. Resilience: The ability to handle whatever is thrown at you (but not be a pushover), bounce back and not take things personally.

9. Managing relationships: The ability to build and maintain relationships with a wide range of people from all levels and all parts of the organisation and its partners.

10. Handling ambiguity: The ability to make sense of (and help others make sense of) what is going on when there is little or no information.

What competencies do you think change agents need to be successful? Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments box below.


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