Old-School Management Is in Crisis: Why Organizations Need Transformation Agents

Organizations are looking for Transformation Agents to modernize their digital transformation journeys. It requires a new approach toward organizational development based on data-driven culture. Clearly, old-fashioned change management is in trouble with the fast-paced changes of work life. Successful transformation initiatives require inviting people to be part of the process – and courage not to set a clear endpoint but trust the process. This calls for new kinds of facilitation skills within organizations.

According to the Howspace CEO, old-school management is in crisis; and all organizations require in-house facilitators called transformation agents to support modern-day business operations.

Howspace, an AI-powered collaboration platform designed to enable dialogue-driven engagement, learning and facilitation, has developed an international program for training Transformation Agents to help organizations facilitate transformation in a human-centric way. The rise of remote and asynchronous work makes involving people easy, but merely using different tools does not make change happen. To have the best impact of the processes and tools, most organizations require a new role: a facilitator.

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In the tech industry, the growth of different facilitator roles, from agile coaches to release train engineers, has been rapid. Similar developments are expected in other business areas as well, with the work environment constantly changing. Processes set in the early 2010s are unlikely to support modern-day business practices.

How we understand the wholeness and build collaborative impact by inviting different people to be part of the change process from the beginning. The TA program is more in building knowledge on human-centric transformation: Facilitation is an approach for helping the organization to implement the transformation process successfully, but facilitation itself is not the core of this program.

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“Facilitation skills were previously the best-kept secret of great leaders. However, we understand we need to build a holistic collaborative impact in an organization, and therefore we need to invite different people to be part of the change process from the beginning. Our Transformation Agent program is about building knowledge about human-centric transformation in companies, with facilitation acting as an approach to implement the transformation process successfully,” says Howspace CEO Ilkka Mäkitalo.

“Facilitation skills are valuable because they offer leaders an arsenal of techniques that enable them to strike that delicate balance of focusing on task and relationship. When everyone was remote, facilitating teams was easier because everyone was equally placed. Now, with hybrid teams, facilitation is far more difficult to ensure fairness and equal treatment and avoid presenteeism or other forms of bias. That’s why we’ve started this Transformation Agent program to help companies upskill their leaders and foster a culture that makes employees feel like a valued members of the team where their voices are heard, and have access to the resources that will allow them to do their job,” continues Mäkitalo.

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The Transformation Agent certification program will be run by the Howspace Certified Partners around the world. The TA program is for people looking to find skills and practices for driving different kinds of change and transformation processes in their organizations in a human-centric way. The enrollment for the first certification programs has started and the programs begin at the beginning of 2022.

“According to the World Economic Forum, active learning and learning strategies will be number two on the list of top 10 skills of 2025. Well, there is a long way to go from classroom teaching to self-driven learning, team-based learning, or digital co-creation. The human-centric transformation could be a perfect solution for the challenges we are facing in learning new skills for the future (or even for today),” said one of the transformation agent program coaches, Riitta Hyppänen, business coach, trainer, writer, CEO at CM & HR Consulting Oy.

[To share your insights with us, please write to sghosh@martechseries.com]