The best part of Altimeter’s amazing new Digital Change Agent’s Manifesto

Industry-leading analyst Brian Solis published a huge new report today, titled The Digital Change Agent’s Manifesto.

The report starts out with several pages of depressing reading about how hard it is to be a change agent inside an organization. I almost stopped reading it.

But then I continued, and the final 70% of the report is incredibly brave and totally outside of what I expected. It’s a discussion of the emotional barriers change agents face – not just in others, but also in themselves. Then, it offers great advice on how to manage those emotional barriers in yourself and in others.

All of the advice is remarkably good. Here’s just one taste of it.

Although it may seem counter-intuitive, to manage detractors, change agents ought to listen closely to their feedback. It is better to let them voice their concerns than to let them detract in secret. By listening to their concerns and the rationale for why they resist specific efforts to transform the organization digitally — and by trying to understand their motivations — change agents can turn detractors into allies. As Patrón Spirits’ Parker shares, “Most vocal critics can become your biggest advocates if you spend time with them.”

The whole report is amazingly helpful, though. You won’t read this kind of insight anywhere else. I highly recommend it.

  • Toby Lucich

    Thanks for sharing this!

    I think many folks believe that change can simply be affected through process or technology, and that people – particularly employees – will willingly follow. Having worked on (and led) organizational change management initiatives for a variety or organizations, it fundamentally ALWAYS comes down to interpersonal communications, and enabling people to affect the necessary behavioral changes. I have been and remain a fanboy of John Kotter’s approach to driving organizational change (

    Sadly, most organizations simply want major initiatives “delivered”, without a willingness to adapt pivotal cultural norms within the business. When radical change is at hand, leaders need to be able to adjust these cultural elements to focus energies and attention.

    Real, impactful change isn’t a single hero’s journey, but a concerted and united effort.

  • Beautiful comment Toby. Thanks for the link to Kotter, and for the particularly succinct summary of the problem and solution.

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