What is the change agent's relationship to the organization?
What change is this person involved in making?
What motivated this person to become involved in this particular change?
How did the change agent initiate change?
Who else was involved in the change? What were their relationships to the change agent?
What strategies were effective orineffective? What made them so?
In hindsight, what could have been done differently?
My change agent, worked as technical consultant in a company, Transarc, which designed and built middleware. When he was sent to Portugal, he simply had to give a demonstration for one of these middleware products. But the Portuguese company didn't want a demonstration of his middleware, they asked himanother project: to reconsider the system of family subsidies and unemployment. Three months later his company won the project and my change agent went to Portugal with one junior colleague. During his mission my change agent was constantly in touch with his bosses (in his company and in the client) and he also had assistance in this company.
He participated in this project as main person in chargeof the technical organization of the project. In this project, the function of the informatics was to accelerate processes: when my change agent is entered in this company, it needed to wait three months before having reports of the transactions. Thus, people who had cheated had disappeared when the company realized it. Furthermore, it was necessary to improve the service to the public, becauseresponse times was too long. So, his first objectives was to build an up to date processing system, to restructure the communications network, and to train the staff at the appropriate level.
The Instituto de Informatica e Estatistica da Solidariedade used to be a governement department but it had been spun off has an institute. This institute was self-sufficient and self-funding.The choice of the director of this institute was very contingent, they picked someone who used to be a university professor, so he had much experience in academia but he didn't know how to manage an institute.
During his first months in this company, J.P. Paillet noticed four major issues:
- Issues of definition of objectives
- Issues with the structure of the company
- Issuesof organization
- Issues of competence and leading personnel
In fact, the fundamental problem was the corporate governance. All authority was vested in a person who used to be an academic and without any sense of organization; this, was a major problem for this company. Everything was done in terms of personal interactions; there were nothing external in the staff relationship. So, thingsstopped when there were an interpersonal conflict, nothing happened if the communication between two people was broken. Thus, one of the main challenges was to externalize these relationships between all the employees. So, my change agent was aware of its mission would not only to build an up to date processing system...Indeed, if he wanted to follow the objectives, he also had to arrange anorganizational change in this company.
Since his job was not defined as an organizational change, it was difficult for him to take that role, without some sort of backing from the director, but he could do something at the technical level and at the organizational level in terms of the project itself so this is what he chose to do.
First, my change agent decided to invest on training thepersonnel. He created a number of coaching sessions in which, with his colleague, he took people and defined objectives for them. But he had no actions at the top level, because of the lack of corporate governance.
For him, a good governance model is divided in three parts. The first part is absolutely essential, it's the authority or the sponsorship, it's the « make it so » part. This part...