What Is the Role of a Change Agent?

Strelka Institute for Media, Architecture and Design/CC-BY 2.0

A change agent acts as a consultant for an organization and works to evaluate, analyze and implement necessary changes to organizational procedures. The change agent’s role includes serving as a researcher, counselor, trainer or teacher within the organization.

Change agents are often hired from outside the company, although at times, the company may choose to hire an existing employee to re-evaluate operations. At the onset of the position, the change agent meets with employees and management to identify how the company or organization operates. The change agent researches and evaluates the company’s structure, employee base, production procedures, financial status, efficiency rates and use of technology. During the course of his evaluations, the change agent must be sensitive to the needs of the employees and company, willing to listen and form relationships with key members of management, and provide unbiased and authentic recommendations that focus on the betterment of the company or organization as a whole. In addition, the change agent must spend time learning how the company works from the inside out which may require immersing himself in the company’s operations as a proxy employee or manager. As a result, management and employees may be more receptive to changes and recommendations suggested from the change agent because he developed a stronger sense of understanding how the company works.