How Can You Measure Your Value (as a change agent)?

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Oh my goodness this topic has been coming up over and over again – in coaching sessions, at retreats, in casual conversation with Catalysts – “How can I measure my value?” Such an important and confounding question for a change agent!

It’s no wonder I get this question so often – it’s not easy to measure change and your direct impact, or your value to this change. Being a change agent is so complex, it takes so long to achieve and it often requires adoption of the idea in a diffuse way, all making it difficult to directly attribute the implementation of large ideas to one individual.

But this is what you can do.

First, acknowledge when you’re standing at the edge of something new. Start identifying when you are starting to tackle that new idea. Train yourself to recognize that moment, perhaps you feel a burst of energy and excitement?

Second, document where the organization is at that moment (before the change). Before you start any efforts to move your idea forward, document where the organization is and what is the change that needs to happen. If you are able to envision how something will be different from today, then take a moment to document the elements of today that will change.

Write about the current language used in the organization and how this illustrates the current flow of ideas and the state of the organizational culture and context – it is often the introduction of new language that tells us we have created change. Or perhaps how certain things are done or which processes used. You need a snapshot of today to contrast to in the future.

Or you may be able to interview a few key individuals about their ideas on the change you are proposing and their hypotheses so you have a way to show a state of the organization before you began to suggest new ideas and new ways of doing or looking at something. Because people will forget and will think the new way was always how they saw it!

Third, envision milestones and document them as they happen. Envision milestones you want to reach, and when you reach them, take a moment to document where the organization was before and where it is after the milestone is reached, as well as your role. Continue documenting the language and how it has changed since embarking on this endeavor.

For example, one colleague and I used to create models to show a phenomenon we wanted to expose people to. And we could track our success by how many people began to use the model in their own presentations. We could see our ideas spread across the organization in this way.

Finally, think about the “so what”. Take a moment to reflect on what each milestone means for the organization in practical terms, such as their mission statement and objectives.

How have you been able to measure your value as a change agent? Would love to hear your thoughts!

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As a Catalyst, you have the power to create positive change. And as a Catalyst of Catalysts I’d love to help you make that happen. I’ve created these free, short, weekly messages designed to help you navigate challenges you may face as you lead organizational change. Sign up for the Catalyst Quick Tip here!

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