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Your role and responsibilities as a change leader

As a manager and supervisor, you play an important role in supporting change in your administrative unit. The combination of your position and your ability to advocate for change makes you a change leader. Change leaders: 

  • Have the authority, resources, and accountability to call for and support change​.
  • Make the decision to implement change and provide the resources necessary to do so​.
  • Must understand changes and be able to communicate this to the organization. You are able to effectively deal with those in the organization who are affected by the change.
  • Support your change agent as they implement change in your unit. They can become trusted influencers who provide inspiration and momentum.

Paving the way for change

As a leader, there are many things you can do to pave the way. Demonstrating your support for change will help your employees more easily adjust to it and will facilitate the job of your change agent as they implement change. Here are a few ways to support them:

  • Increase ways for employees to provide feedback.
  • Set guidelines and expectations for virtual work, engagement, and participation in change.
  • Start by explaining the “why” behind the proposed changes, followed by the “what” will change, and then the “how” , which explains the change management strategy​.
  • Create an environment that values teamwork and collaboration​.
  • Generate energy to endure short-term difficulties: doggedly pursue the vision and business outcomes. Keep on track by emphasizing the “why”.​
  • Create a solid plan that allows for flexibility. Current circumstances are straining individuals and infrastructure, and there may be further impacts and risks. Having a solid change management plan will mitigate the risk, even as things change and the plan shifts over time.
  • Define short-term metrics for success, and make them highly transparent.
  • Create incentives, such as recognition and rewards for maintaining business as usual and, at the same time, for going above and beyond.
  • Ensure robust communications, especially when teams, or employees, are working virtually instead of face-to-face.
Choosing a change agent

As part of the Program, we created the Change Agent Network with change agents to represent each faculty and service. The agents meet with others to discuss the changes the Program is setting forth and how these changes will affect them and their unit.

Your unit has the opportunity to be at the leading edge of the Program and its projects by having one of your employees in the Network: you will be in-the-know, you will see early demos, you will have a hands-on influence on the solution in advance. Plus, your employee/change agent will gain change management knowledge as they work with the Program’s change management team, and they will bring this knowledge back to your team. Think of it as an investment.

The role and responsibilities of change agents

Need to know what they will do before you send a name? Learn about their role and responsibilities.

Selection criteria

The selection criteria are meant to guide you in choosing the best agent based on a set of skills the Network is looking for. The perfect candidate may meet some or all the criteria. The call is yours. In general, the Modernization Program is looking for one change agent per faculty or service, however, depending on the size of your sector or the distinct functional roles in your unit, you may nominate two employees. Candidates should have one or more of the following qualities:

  • Expertise in the functional areas of human resources and finance or working in information technology
  • Desire to help others
  • Respect of their peers
  • Ability to easily navigate the hierarchy
  • Time to dedicate to change management
    • One hour per week in the beginning, with more time required at certain times.
  • 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 they represent


The immediate supervisor of the employee being nominated to be a change agent needs to submit the nomination.

  1. Select an employee based on the selection criteria above.
  2. Talk to the employee to:
    • Discuss the concept of the Network and the benefits behind it
    • Highlight the characteristics and behaviours that led to their nomination and the importance of their role
    • Explain the benefits of being a change agent
    • Confirm the time investment
    • Confirm their interest in this role
  3. Submit the name of your change agent.

Once we receive the name of your change agent, you will receive a confirmation by email, normally within a few days of submission.


The Network has at least one agent for each targeted faculty and service. However, if you need to replace an agent to represent your administrative unity or add one, please contact the Program.


By submitting the change agent's name, the supervisor agrees to give the employee time to take part in monthly meetings, to attend optional monthly peer support meetings, and to work on designing and implementing change within their area.

The Modernization Program change management team will not make any selection following the submissions.

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