The accelerated pace of change we have witnessed as B2B professionals is here to stay. We are talking about new norms emerging post-pandemic: new ways of engaging with our buyers and customers, new ways of building trust and connections with our audiences, new ways of working with our colleagues, and new ways of advancing our own careers and aspirations.

To do anything in new ways, we must be able to open up to new ideas, challenge the way things get done today, and embrace new ways of addressing a problem or capitalizing on an opportunity. We also need to consider three important change personas:

  • Change managers. These are the people who execute the change by handling what needs to be done to operationalize change.
  • Change leader. This is the person who defines the desired end state and creates the conditions for change by removing potential obstacles. A change leader ultimately inspires and guides change.
  • Change catalysts. These are the individuals who bring forward and articulate a new or different idea. They are the ones who are creating the conditions for change. Change catalysts precipitate change.

Change management is a well-articulated discipline, but often we confuse change catalysts with change leaders, falsely assuming that a change catalyst must also lead the change or that a change leader is the one who comes up with all the new ideas. The fact is that new ideas can come from anyone within the organization. Anyone — no matter their title, seniority, or tenure — can inspire and instigate change and be a change catalyst.

Change catalysts demonstrate four key attributes: first, courage and clarity. They show tenacity, standing up and advocating for something new that the rest of the organization does not yet see. They demonstrate conviction to bring a possibility to reality at the right time. And they show creativity, connecting their ideas with the hearts and minds of others and patiently cultivating the seeds of change.

We truly believe that change catalysts are not defined by their titles. Anyone can be a change catalyst, but not everyone acts as an effective change catalyst. As B2B professionals, rising to the challenge of ever-faster change and seizing emerging opportunities requires more of us to tap into our inner change catalyst, helping our organizations overcome corporate inertia and drive bold, positive change.

At Forresters B2B Summit North America, I will share, alongside my colleague Peter Ostrow, a playbook — four powerful hacks — that you can all use to nurture and develop your inner change catalyst. Join us for our keynote session, Loosening The Status Quo And Overcoming Inertia: Become An Effective Change Catalyst. We can’t wait to see you in Austin or for you to join us online.