“Curiosity is the spark behind every great idea. The future belongs to the curious.”
How do you grow the next generation of talent inside your company? How do you instill a culture of curiosity?How do you make sure bench players are ready to get in the game?
Sound like a big investment…it is, but it’s doesn’t have to be an expensive one. Starting a Change Agent Team (CAT) can be an effective, low cost–high return proposition. More importantly, it’s a way to invest in and elevate your human resources development.
Simple steps can help establish this value-added program:
- Identify a key issue facing your organization requiring research and some degree of change in the way you do business (e.g., a pressing question or task that’s been identified but never acted on).
- Select a four to six member multi-disciplinary team from your “rising star” employee pool (every company has them…you know who they are).
- Assign Change Agent Team (CAT) a C-Suite mentor to act as a sounding-board and periodic project “gut check” (vs. decision-maker or rule-maker).
- CAT creates an action plan and project scope that describes the challenge, identifies what it’s going to take, and defines the outcome and deliverable.
- Allow team adequate time to manage the process across the organization and draw upon internal resources to achieve their objectives (i.e., set them up for success).
- Have formal C-Suite presentation of results to hone CAT presentation skills and allow face-time with senior management (this “exposure factor” serves to both motivate and challenge CAT members).
- Recognize and whenever possible reward the CAT team's accomplishments once they've successfully completed their assignment (and help promote implementation of their deliverable).
- Don’t make it a one-time effort; quickly move to select the next team and institutionalize the CAT process.
Change Agent Team results work for everyone:
- It’s an effective method to inject change management skills in your employees’ development and sprinkle “ingredients for curiosity” in their thinking—an investment with significant long-term payoff.
- The organization gains fresh ideas to address important business issues, often backlogged on the corporate “to-do” list.
- CAT members get valuable problem solving skills and exposure to the discipline of change management. The result is a morale booster (increased enthusiasm and recognition not easily achieved).
- And yes, management gets a taste of “reverse mentoring” learning from those a generation or two behind them.
Change Agent Teams can emerge as a training and development tool, project management resource and focal point for innovation all rolled into one. It’s a driver for change that has long-lasting effects as team participants grow within the organization. CAT is a low cost, high visibility investment with big payoff for the company and your employees. Curiosity may have killed the cat; lack of it may kill your chances of developing the next generation of talent.