Change agents break the rules.  They think on the outside.  They point out the stuff that is fundamentally broken.  Administrators follow the rules.  They make more rules.  They believe that order equals simplicity.

Is it possible for a change agent to become an administrator? 

I’ve been tempted.  I’ve thought “if they would only follow the ‘new rules’ then we wouldn’t have this problem.”  It isn’t true.

We can’t make rules to change rules.  A leader cannot ‘govern’ the way out of a broken situation.  The only way out of disfunction is cooperation, teamwork, and leadership.

So if you really see your role as a change agent, don’t enact rules and then whine when others don’t follow them.  Get in front.  Communicate.  Demonstrate.  Sacrifice. 

Only a leader can truly effect change.

By Nick Malik

Former CIO and present Strategic Architect, Nick Malik is a Seattle based business and technology advisor with over 30 years of professional experience in management, systems, and technology. He is the co-author of the influential paper "Perspectives on Enterprise Architecture" with Dr. Brian Cameron that effectively defined modern Enterprise Architecture practices, and he is frequent speaker at public gatherings on Enterprise Architecture and related topics. He coauthored a book on Visual Storytelling with Martin Sykes and Mark West titled "Stories That Move Mountains".

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