How to Find Organizational Change Catalysts

During our transformation journey, we have used core teams to be the “guiding coalition” for change initiatives and I know many organizations do the same thing. As we began the expansion of Agility to other areas of the company (and to improve our existing Agile framework), we again selected a small group of people to guide the way.

This group of 9 amazing people spanning multiple departments has been a pleasure to work with. While there was some initial but necessary team storming, everyone became committed to the group and gelled to become cohesive, collaborative, and productive.

Real change requires a catalyst – and this team is becoming just that.

As I thought about what has made this group unique and special, the individual qualities making up the team members came to mind:

They are multipliers. These are people who amplify the skills and capabilities of others. Multipliers allow ideas to flow naturally and use input from everyone to generate more ideas. You know you are in the presence of a multiplier when you rarely hear the word “but” and you leave sessions making more progress than you thought possible.

They are lifters. These are people who elevate the spirit and energy of a group. Lifters bring a natural charisma necessary to propel the team through the inevitable rough patches. You know you are in the presence of a lifter when you find its almost impossible to be in a bad mood when you are around them.

They are connectors. These are people who find great joy in bringing people together. Connectors are the “networkers” of the group. They know everybody in the organization and will go out of their way to make sure all the right people are included. You know you are in the presence of a connector when they start inviting other people to take part in creating solutions.

They are thinkers. These are people who, on the surface, may seem quiet and reserved but are in fact, observing and processing everything. Thinkers are often the conscience of the group and will be able to sense thing others can’t. They will let the group go off on crazy tangents for a little while but will bring them back to the expected goals after careful thought as they can sense the current direction would not align with the vision. You know you are in the presence of a thinker when they share something two or three steps ahead of everyone else.

It’s nearly impossible to find someone with all of these qualities but they should have at least one and ideally, you would include a nice balance of all 4 qualities on the team.

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