Using the Internet (wisely and economically)
At present time, the internet is almost always the first stop, and probably ought to be. There are many caveats, however. The successful change agent needs to be an intelligent internet explorer. Consider the following.
What’s right with internet search engines? Fast, Vast, & Easy
What’s wrong with them?
Specific Internet Tools
Within the Internet there has mushroomed up any number of more specialized tools, starting with the key-word dependent “Search Engines” such as Google, Bing, Yahoo Search, Ask, and Aol Search, create portals to acquiring information.
Sites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google Plus+, Instagram, and Tumblr connect individuals and create opportunities to interact and exchange information.
Blogs open doors to electronic forums that can be content specific. The range of connectivity to resources, information, data, and people is wide and deep.
Subject Specific Database
Library gateways and subject specific databases are useful for specific links, multimedia files, archives, mailing lists or special topics.
Have a Plan for Using the Internet Tools
1. Define the dimensions of the problem or situation with key words.
2. Set aside specific amounts of time and resources to conduct search stage
3. Encourage Participation in Search
4. Leave room for serendipity
Think of resources in several different terms:
Networks and Networking as Tools
For the Change Agent, “connecting the dots” and analyzing information is a challenge because of the shear mass of available information. A necessary critical skill of the Change Agent is the ability to sort data and understand what information fits the problem and what should be ignored or bypassed. Finding examples and case studies of successful implementation plans, and individuals who have expertise helps create the opportunity to facilitate solution findings.
The Internet can provide data, and lots of it. The question for the Change Agent is when to “reach-out” beyond the digital to connect directly to individuals. It is important to remember the different roles individuals play in the “Change Process.” Remember the key types:
Each will provide a unique perspective and viewpoint.
When making connections, it is also important to keep in mind the complex web of social links from your Stage 1 RELATE analysis. These relationships are not only beneficial to your client but also to the individual you are talking with. This web is your main avenue you to deeper understanding, providing critical information for solving problems and finding workable solutions.
Which People Are Likely to be the most valuable connections?
There is nothing quite like arranging an extended interview with someone who has had some experience with what you are planning to do. There are four basic types, each with special advantages and cautions.
On Site Visits (to View and Experience the Innovation in a Real Natural Setting)
The ability to actually view an implemented innovation can also provide critical information. The “living” case study can broaden the Change Agent’s understanding and reveal many of the problems of implementing a complex innovation project. It can help identify people, processes and issues of certain solutions, and provide a possible roadmap to implementation.
The website's content is relevant to today's business, education, government and non-profit organizations as they attempt to implement new ideas and innovations in their organizations. It also provides case studies to help help understand the roles of Change Agents and the processes related to Change.