What Is an Effective Change Catalyst?
Also called a Change Champion, we define an effective Change Catalyst as someone who helps to guide, navigate, and accelerate the people side of change with key stakeholders. An effective Change Catalyst is responsible for engaging, motivating, communicating, and coordinating with stakeholders and bringing them successfully along the change journey. Done right, Change Catalysts are critical ambassadors and liaisons for desired change at work.
Why Change Catalysts Are Essential for Change
Catalysts are essential for change because, done right, they provide the confidence and support that those affected by change need to tackle new ways of working and sustain behavior change. While putting the right tools and training in employees’ hands is required, it isn’t enough.
Successful catalysts change mindsets, spread momentum, and provide support. Their success is measured by the people around them being successful with the new ways from a results and behavior perspective. Change catalysts only succeed when others around them do.
The Track Record on Organizational Change
Most leaders know that change management consulting is hard. According to recent research by Bain of over 300 companies attempting large scale change, only 12% achieved or exceeded their aims, and over one-third failed miserably. The biggest barriers to success were:
The same research found that senior leadership support, employee engagement and interest, clear goals and accountabilities, and effective internal change communication most heavily contributed to successful organizational change. From our change management simulation data and field experience at clients, these themes have not changed much over the years. Change Catalysts should play an important role in all four areas.
Top 10 Criteria of an Effective Change Catalyst
Leading and navigating organizational change is not easy. To be an effective Change Catalyst, you must be a trusted influencer, a natural leader, and skilled in working with others. If you are looking to enroll change champions as part of your organizational change initiative, our data tell us the the most effective Change Catalysts:
The Four Big C’s of Change Catalysts
Once you identify people with the above ten attributes, your next step is to ensure your change champions have conviction, courage, clarity and consistency:
The Bottom Line
Change champions are committed change leaders who understand what is at stake and what it takes for their companies to help shift people in a new and necessary direction. Be sure you pick the right catalysts to help create the conditions for successful change.
To learn more about how to succeed at organizational change, download 5 Science-Backed Lenses of Change that Leaders Must Pay Attention To
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