What exactly is a change agent? A change agent is someone who does not let costs get in the way of meaningful change. She sees the need to do things differently, and then finds a way to address the costs and obstacles that have discouraged others from moving forward.
You might wonder why I am deliberately focusing on costs in the above definition. The reason is simple: Most people define change agents in terms of the new ideas they champion. New ideas are indeed critical. But change agents aren’t unique because they recognize or believe in new ideas; they are unique because they aren’t afraid to pay for the change they want. In other words, genuine agents of change understand that you must pay a price – sometimes a steep one – to make lasting, evolutionary progress.
Change agents are critical in every ecosystem. Change agents drive innovation, speak uncomfortable truths, and bring about needed change when most feel suffocated by the status quo. So the next time you bump into a change agent, lend her a hand.