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.

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