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The Role of the Change Master




By Ruth Tearle.



A change agent may be a full time organisational development professional, a leader of a division or a middle manager charged with the responsibility of bringing about a change in his/her area. Anyone involved in helping a team achieve something new becomes an agent of change. Depending on the type of change he/she is tasked with, a change agent may perform any of the following roles.


However a change master, is able to perform all of these roles.


Diagnostician & Developer of Clear Change Goals.

Like a medical practitioner, the change agent will begin by diagnosing what the real issues are, and then proposing clear goal directed solutions. He/she will begin by analysing:












From this the diagnostician will determine the type of change required by the organisation.


The Facilitator

The most complex role of a change agent, is getting others to 'buy in' to the change process, and getting them committed to taking relevant actions. The facilitator gets involved in:








The Designer

Designing a change process that will achieve specific change goals, is a creative process. This involves:








The project manager

Many different roles are required for a change process to work. Often a change agent will play the role of a project manager and co-ordinate the activities of the different role players. Typical roles in a change process include:














The Educator

Those involved in managing the change, and those who will be affected by the change, often are surprised by their feelings when confronted by change. Resistance, frustration and confusion of common emotions associated by change.


A successful change agent educates people about what to expect from the change process. This includes topics such as:









The Marketer.



         Fun and rewarding.


         An opportunity to develop new useful skills.


         An opportunity to increase one's visability within the organisation.


         Like embarking on an exciting adventure through which every individual discovers his/her personal magic.


To do this, the marketer applies innovative marketing techniques more often found in the advertising, communications industries. These includes :









Inspiration Agent.

Why is the Oprah show so successful? People react with love, energy, excitement and creativity to anything that touches their soul. An inspiration agent finds ways to use the change process to:







Systems Integrator and Co-ordinator.

Often individuals who contribute to a change, get discouraged when they find they are being punished rather than rewarded for their efforts. This situation arises when the reward and recognition systems in the company are not aligned to the change. The change agent often needs to ensure that the following systems support the change he/she is making.











Since organisations are integrated systems, any change to one part of the system may trigger or unexpected changes to other parts of the system. Similarly, unless you consider changes to the culture of your company, you may find that certain elements of the system may prevent your change from working.


The monitor role regularly measures progress towards the change goals. He/she constantly questions "what is working", "what isn't working" and "what do we need to change".


He/she provides regular feedback on progress to:







He/she encourages them to:








Qualities of a Ghange Master

While many people will find that they can perform one or two of the agent agent roles with ease, a change master would be able to perform all the change roles.


The ideal change master would have the following qualities:


















Ruth Tearle



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