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Change agents

The Modernization Program has many projects underway. Some of these projects aim to make rapid gains (involving smaller changes) while a team works at laying the foundations for the implementation of the enterprise resource planning (ERP) system (the big change). This change will occur over the next few years.

Change agents by faculty and service

Change agents are appointed by their faculty or service and meet with others to discuss the changes the Program is implementing and how they will affect their unit.

Role and responsibilities of change agents
  • Represent their unit by providing feedback from your unit to the Modernization Program change management team on a monthly basis​
  • Actively engage with change leaders to instill a true sense of team health, success and challenges, and overall effectiveness​
  • Communicate with their unit, present information, and demonstrate the solution/changes to your unit. This will require translating the change messages into a language that is meaningful to them​.
  • Ensure that their functional counterparts are up-to-date on the program’s activities
  • Ensure that feedback from the front lines is funneled back to the Modernization Program

When change becomes more tangible, your responsibilities may also include the following activities: 

  • Identify the impact of the change on the people, structures, processes, behaviours, and culture of the University​
  • Discern the sources of resistance, by target population​
  • Develop effective peer-to-peer techniques
  • Leverage change management tools to identify, monitor, and track changes continuously​
  • Use the change management process to keep their sector focused on the changes and outcomes​

Change agents are able to count on the Program’s change management team for guidance. They will also receive tools and resources as we progress through the change together.

Becoming a change agent

The Program is formed of change agents to represent each faculty or service. Members of the Change Agent Network meet with others monthly to discuss the changes the Program is implementing and how they affect them and their unit.

Being part of the Network is an opportunity for change agents and their unit to become involved in the Program and its projects: they are in-the-know, they see early demos, they have a hands-on influence on the solution in advance. Plus, as change agents, they gain knowledge about change management while applying this knowledge in their unit, with assistance from the Program’s change management team. We have to see this as an investment.

Role and responsibilities of change agents

Need to know more about the role and responsibilities of change agents? Learn more in the box below.

Selection criteria

The Network is formed of one change agent per faculty or service; however, depending on the size of their sector, two agents may be named. Change agents should have one or more of the following qualities:

  • Expertise in the functional areas of human resources and finance or information technology
  • Desire to help others
  • Respect of your peers
  • Ability to easily navigate the hierarchy
  • Time to dedicate to change management
    • This would involve one hour per week in the beginning, with more time required at certain periods.
  • Strong communication skills
  • A positive attitude toward change in general
  • Empathy for people, for how they are treated, and for how they are asked to perform their work
  • Awareness of the needs and wants of the group you represent

Process

If you're interested in becoming a change agent and you think you meet one or more of these criteria, speak to your supervisor, who will need to support your nomination by sending an email to the Modernization Program.

Your immediate supervisor should submit your name to show their support.

  1. The supervisor selects an employee based on the selection criteria above.
  2. The supervisor discusses with the employee
    • The concept behind the Network and its benefits
    • Their nomination as a change agent
    • The benefits of being a change agent
    • The characteristics and behaviours of the employee that contributed to their nomination
    • The time required to be a change agent
  3. The supervisor sends an email with the name of the change agent.

Once the Program receives the name of the change agent, you will receive a confirmation email, normally within a few days of submission.

Nominations

The Network has at least one agent for each targeted faculty and service. If you are interested in this role, we invite you to speak to your supervisor.

Acknowledgement

Your immediate supervisor needs to send an email if you are selected as a change agent for your unit. By doing so, the supervisor agrees to give you time to take part in the monthly meetings, to attend the optional monthly peer support meetings, and to work on designing and implementing the change within their area.

The Modernization Program change management team will not make any selection following the submissions. Once the name is received, the change agent will receive a confirmation email.

Benefits of being part of the network
  1. Hear the news before everyone else (be in the know)
  2. Participate in walkthroughs or early demos
  3. Get hands on with the solution in advance
  4. Work closely with leaders
  5. Be the voice of their administrative unit
  6. Influence strategic initiatives
  7. Improve their professional development
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