We’ve talked about this before. Employees taking steps on their own to induce change into an organization, to better serve the customers they interact with. We’ve talked about this before, though probably from a corporate perspective rather than a personal one. Let’s make it personal.
Most agents of change have historically bent the rules. These people found new, simpler, or better ways of doing things. They didn’t hesitate to take on the leadership role (taking initiative) to make things happen, often without asking for permission or direction ahead of time.
Taking risks and bringing new ideas or technology into an organization can not only be challenging, but can potentially put your job in jeopardy. Below I list 5 things you can do as an agent of change in your organization. Be aware, however, that doing some of these things may violate the specific policies in your company, and that these are simply examples of what has been done by other people in other situations where they acted as Rogue Agents.
1 – Build Your Own Brand
One of the most important things to do first is be aware of who you are and your passions. Sometimes it helps to have a brand or package to work with before you start working with someone else’s, and what better one to start with than your own? Build your personal brand, and establish who you are first.
2 – Gain Access to the Tools
In order to stay on top of industry news (your own and for the social media “industry” of ideas & tools), you need to be connected. Many companies have fairly open access to information on the Internet, and some have unfettered access to social media/networking sites. If this isn’t your situation, bring your own access! Use a 3G modem to connect to the Internet without pesky firewalls and policies in the way. Ultimately I’d suggest bringing in your own laptop to do this with. In any case, you do have a smart phone don’t you?
3 – Experiment, Learn, Share
Try everything that looks useful! Most tools don’t fit the needs of your organization, or yourself for that matter. The lesson here is that learning what tools are good for what tasks is what’s important. That way, you can properly identify a tool/service/solution for a given need. Remember to share what you learn!
4 – Get Involved
Find something your passionate about or good at. Participate in the forums, groups, meetups, or online discussions. Let people hear your perspectives & ideas, and listen to what they’ve got to say (you’ll likely learn a lot). Let other folks in your organization in on some of the discussion & groups that are of value to your company’s product or brand. Share the knowledge, and make sure that you’re recognized in those groups as a thought leader.
5 – Become a Knowledge Expert
As you work on your personal brand, and learn the concepts and technologies that make up what social media is, you will start establishing yourself as a knowledge expert. Mostly this means that you’re sharing interesting ideas and knowledge that help other people succeed. This in turn is something that people will recognize about you, and that’s what the personal pay-off is going to be for all the time you invest in being a rogue agent. It’ll help you be a better you as your career unfolds, and you can bring your specialized, demonstrated skills to future clients.
It goes without saying that the items above are examples of what some people have done at different organizations in the past. What worked for them may not work for you or your organization. Be smart in what you’re trying to do – changing an organization to better itself for it’s customers is the right thing to do, changing an organization simply because you don’t like their policies isn’t.