With much excitement, I recently became a member of Change Agents WorldWide (CAWW). There’s a number of “tribes” that I belong to professionally – IABC, the Change Management Professionals (meetups) and the Organisational Change Practitioners (linkedin group) – and between contracting, coaching and consulting my discretionary time can be scarce. Why would I chose to join another?
Well, you see, I think Change Agents WorldWide is kinda special. The former three are very valuable to me in terms of generosity of spirit, great like minded souls who are passionate about their profession, and a strong local and international network. All three of the networks help me keep my practice strong and connected with what is “best practice”.
But sometimes, you need “next practice”. Next practice to me, is the emerging trends, insights, practice that are the outliers, and the potential future of work. If I am to remain relevant, and innovative in my change and communication practice I need a tribe that exposes me to the edge of how organisations might be. I think I have found that with the 44 members that make up CAWW (Solo Change Agents and Enterprise Change Agents). The community is a global network of thinkers and do-ers of change in the fields of leadership, change, business innovation, social business, and social architecture. And they’re pretty impressive ones – take a look here.
As I explained in an earlier post on the subject of change agents, Everett Rogers in his change bible The Diffusion of Innovations (1962) describes a change agent, as ‘an individual who influences client’s innovation –decisions in a direction deemed desirable by a change agency’. Critically, ‘the change agent not only seeks to obtain the adoption of new ideas, but may also attempt to slow down diffusion and prevent the adoption of undesirable innovations’. (p. 28). Further, in contrast to the ideas above of the change agent as part of the business, Rogers saw the change agent as being different to the client (eg. by experience, education and social system).
The Change Agents within the network are definitely different to the client. If you have been reading about wirearchy, holocracy, Working Out Loud, Responsive organisations then you’ll have a sense of what’s got them excited. And now me. It doesn’t mean that Conversations of Change is changing direction, far from it. Those who have worked with me and are regular readers know that I get antsy when I’m not exposed to “next practice”. And my core purpose – to help people through change does not change at all. I am still super enthusiastic about working with businesses to achieve their strategies through change programs. I’ll still be contracting, consulting and coaching. It’s just now, I’ll have exposure to new ideas on how to help those people and businesses with change. Maybe some of the clients will come via the network. And I’ll have 44 very smart colleagues to bounce ideas of. Cool huh?
Perhaps we can help you?