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Your Job Is Change

When change programs are doomed before they start … When old leaders are stumped by new challengers … When change itself is changing … read this awesome article found here

It inspires me to be a change insurgent. Check out this excerpt:

The Job of the Change Insurgent

The old change agent is as much a thing of the past as the old environment for change is. The old change agent could help a company do things faster, cheaper, better. He could try to push the company toward a linear improvement in its performance — cutting costs, questioning bad practices, applying new technology to an old task, inching the company closer to its customers. But the mind-set for change — as well as the process for change — was limited, mechanical, point-to-point.

The change insurgent operates with a different mandate and a different mind-set. Rather than coming up with better products, the change insurgent continually invents better organizations. For the change insurgent, doing “it” faster, cheaper, and better is no longer the goal — because “it” keeps changing. As a result, the change insurgent focuses less on specific products or specific markets, and more on organizational readiness. The whole organization has to scan technologies for possible applications, scan markets for possible needs, scan all other organizations for newly emerging technologies or markets — and then move like lightning.

Rather than aiming for growth, the change insurgent aims for dexterity. In the 1990s, the Web gave companies a new mandate: Stop cutting costs, and start growing revenues. In the 2000s, the next phase of the Web is giving companies another mandate: Get more disciplined about growth and more focused on adaptation. It’s no longer enough just to grow. The job of the change insurgent is to focus companies on their ability to maneuver and to change direction.

Rather than just cutting costs, the change insurgent has to explode the organization and put it on the Web. The change insurgent’s job is to turn an old-line company into an online company. And in the course of making that change, the change insurgent has an opportunity to change the larger context within which the company operates. Rather than keeping operations in-house, the insurgent relies on B2B Web-based auctions and partnerships. Instead of paying suppliers a fixed price, the insurgent gives them equity. In place of fixed payrolls, the insurgent relies on performance-based pay, stock options, project teams, and contract workers.

Rather than working from the top down, the change insurgent works from wherever he is. Many change agents used to depend on title, authority, or official sanction to undertake their change programs. Change insurgency doesn’t depend on formal rank; it depends on great ideas, powerful visions, and daring examples. There’s no way that the people at the top can know enough about technology, markets, or the potential of people in and around the organization to be the major instigators of change. There’s no way that change can be planned as a formal “program.” The job of the people with the most formal authority, the “chiefs” — chief executive officer, chief operating officer, chief financial officer — is to create an environment in which change insurgency can flourish.

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