change agent

A change agent is anyone who helps an organization transform by improving business processes and interpersonal interactions. Leaders focused on change management or change control are often labeled change agents. There are two types of change agents: internal and external. Internal change agents are people already in the organization who are familiar with the company's culture and operations. External change agents are consultants from outside the organization who re-evaluate operations. To be effective, external change agents must first research the company's structure, culture, processes, finances and existing technology. Both internal and external change agents must be proactive about anticipating and initiating transformation within an organization.

There are several categories change agents usually fall under:

  • Facilitator: Sets up brainstorming meetings and helps determine which changes need to occur
  • Planner: Identifies steps, stages and timing of change implementation
  • Cheerleader: Motivates people who are changing; works directly with resisters and questioners

Basic responsibilities:

  • Convey why change is taking place and who will be affected
  • Highlight potential benefits and drawbacks of proposed initiatives
  • Anticipate and work in areas of potential dispute or disruption
  • Obtain feedback


  • Diversified knowledge
  • Prioritization skills
  • Good listener
  • Able to ask tough questions
  • Flexible
  • Open to new ideas
  • Creative
  • Good at relationship building
  • Articulates reasons for change
  • Trustworthy
  • Thick-skinned
This was last updated in February 2017

Continue Reading About change agent

Dig Deeper on CIO career development and career paths



Find more PRO+ content and other member only offers, here.

Join the conversation


Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

In what ways are you a change agent at your organization?
Yes, that was benefit thanks, I have no clear grasp about change agent, by the way, I am a civil engineering student that was very useful to know that during my work in construction buildings. I saw many consultants from another company monitor our advancing that's why I am asking about the right definition about change agent so they are from the second half of change agent external part great.


File Extensions and File Formats