The last few years have been a stark reminder that business as usual is not working. The need for change is far greater than it has ever been before. The pace of change is accelerating. We must change or be changed.
Instead of waiting for things to change we must create the change we hope to see. Change should not be something that happens to you, but something that you control. You might not be able to control everything, but you can learn to manage change.
Organizations too must learn to manage change more effectively. Change is one of the most underdeveloped skills in most organizations.
In the article, “Becoming a Change Agent” in Chief Learning Officer magazine the author stresses the growing need for leaders to become agents of change. “Tomorrow’s leaders must not only embrace change – they must create it.”
The article suggests that tomorrow’s leaders must be courageous innovators, take calculated risks, be dynamic strategists, emotionally intelligent, good at learning and teaching.
Perhaps organizations need to take a closer look at the intrapreneurs in their organizations. They already possess the capabilities outlined in the article “Becoming a Change Agent.”
In a recent interview titled “Leading Thru Change,” Lou Gerstner former CEO of IBM was asked about his leadership style. The moderator started the conversation by asking him if it was better to be feared or loved.
Gerstner replied by saying “You need to get people to fear staying in place, to fear not changing.” He should know. During his tenure at IBM, Gerstner was credited with one of the most successful transformations in business.
Change did not come easy or fast for Gerstner. Yet we know that unless there is an agent of change willing to take on that role, there is resistance and little motivation to change. You don’t need to be a CEO to be an agent of change. You need to have the courage to make change happen.
Intrapreneurs are agents of change. They have a deep desire and need to make change happen. These individuals have the knowledge, expertise and skills that only a few individuals possess in most organizations. They are leaders of change.
Organizations slow to capitalize on their expertise could lose their competitive edge.
Best of Intrapreneur Series Articles. Reprint – January 2011