Is help hiding in plain sight?

Graphic of a clock segment in black and white with "time for change" written around the edge; the hands point to "change" which is written in red.A potential change ally might be right in front of you.

Perfect example: I was talking with someone who was supporting much-needed change within her organization. The change was mandated (for good reason) from senior leadership; she’s not directly responsible, but she does have influence.

We spent a little time talking about the people actively resisting the change, and why they might be doing so.

But then she mentioned one person on the team who was happily chugging along, doing the things that needed doing, without pushing back – just calmly doing his work.

There it was: a change ally hiding in plain sight.

A change ally is a peer who’s already on board

Change allies, as I define them, are people who have already accepted the change and are moving ahead with it.

But they’re not necessarily actively advocating for the change. Often, as in the example I describe, they’re just quietly doing what needs to be done. No fuss, no fanfare, just doing the work.

Because these people are peers rather than supervisors, they have a significant amount of credibility and influence.

People resisting the change are likely to dig in their heels when urged on by their managers. And yes, there are ways for those managers to develop rapport and influence – that is, after all, what I teach, the skills of change leadership.

But enlisting the help of the people who aren’t resisting is another piece of the puzzle.

Encourage them to be more vocal than they otherwise might be. Encourage them to make clear statements about how the change is a good thing, how it’s making life easier, more efficient, faster (whatever the impact is for them).

They are, bluntly, more credible than you, the change leader, can be. They have no agenda, whereas you’re viewed as the leader who “has to” promote the change as a positive.

These people are gold. Look for them.

Curious about the Change Leadership program and what it could do for your change initiative? Drop me a note through my contact form and we’ll set a time to talk.