Reaching Out for Resources
With an adequate definition in hand, the change agent and the system can begin to reach out for resources that might be relevant. “Resources” come in many forms: people, finances, space, time, technology, and especially knowledge of other change efforts, successful and otherwise. Just plain ideas can also be useful resources.
Resource acquisition is the stage most underrated and most frequently slighted by busy and confident change agents, too easily deluding themselves that they know it all already.
IGNORE THIS STEP AT YOUR PERIL!
Think you already have all the resources that could be useful? YOU DON'T!
Think that this project is so innovative that past experience is irrelevant? IT ISN'T!
No project is ever so new and creative that it can't be improved substantially by applying information from the past.
Think there is no relevant knowledge elsewhere that applies to this case? THAT IS NEVER THE CASE!
Feel that other resources are too hard to go after? WRONG! IT IS ALWAYS WORTH A TRY.
IN THE DIGITAL AGE, it is increasingly easy and inexpensive to gain access to an incredibly rich and diverse resource universe.
The task of information retrieval can be handled with a minimum of effort if searchers think about what they need before they start and set an acquisition strategy that makes sense in terms of their needs.
STAGE 4 is divided into four sections.
For the change agent, acquiring knowledge about the process of change may be the most important type of resource acquisition. As you read through STAGE 4, keep in mind that we are only discussing resource acquisition, not resource evaluation or utilization; these will be the topics of subsequent chapters. Here we are concerned with how to get it, not what to do with it once we have it.
ACQUIRE Sub-Stages: Four Things for the Change Agent to Consider
What the Change Agent Needs to Know Most in the ACQUIRE Stage
Stage 4 provides an overview of resource acquisition strategies for problem solving. The change agent and the client system must decide: (1) how much time? (2) how much money? And (3) how much energy and effort?
Search must be weighed against desired goals of the project or program. Spending time, money, and energy on resource acquisition should always be based on a reasonably clear idea of why you are doing If you are too broad and loose in defining your needs and in defining relevance, you will be swamped with information you cannot use.
On the other hand, if you define your information needs too narrowly, you may overlook some of the critical facts that are required to make problem-solving and innovating effective and beneficial. The knowledge universe is expanding rapidly, so change agents and their clients need to develop the capacity to plug in and to home in on the contents of this universe whenever and wherever they need help.
To learn more about the seven stages of change, download your free book excerpt including the first two chapters of The Change Agent's Guide.
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