Sister Sites

Who Owns Scotland?

Caledonia Land Programme

Social Land Ownership

Commonweal Papers

Land Reform Act Part 2 Guidance

Training of Trainers

Networks of Agents

Land reform briefings


Change Agents (1)

bulletThe only constant thing is change. Change agents attempt to steer it in this direction rather than that
bulletThe one-pagers listed here are drawn from the separate disciplines of Education, Management, and Development Theory
bulletThey are all inspired by the same paradigm shift - power to the people
bulletThey all consider what might be involved in being an effective change agent/ social activist
Types of tutor/facilitator/adviser authority g980116d
The project agent 941209b
External agents in RTD 941215c
Advisers as external agents of change g951214e
Facilitator roles for intervention g951201
The 7Ds of a successful adviser g971215b
Facilitating change - keys to advisory success of failure g971215a
The role of the external mentor g970626


Types of tutor/ facilitator/ adviser authority

Heron J (1993) Group Facilitation - theories and models for practice; Kogan Page

As an adviser/tutor/facilitator of learning you have access, according to Heron, to three types of authority each of which can have two styles:

Tutelary Authority

means that the facilitator has mastered some body of knowledge and skill and appropriate procedures for passing it on; can communicate effectively to learners through the written and spoken word and other presentations; can care competently for learners, and can be guardian of their needs and interests.

Political authority

means that facilitators take decisions that affect the whole programme of learning. It involves the exercise of educational decision-making with respect to the content, methods and timing of learning.

Charismatic authority

means that facilitators influence learners and the learning process by virtue of their presence, style, and manner, that is, through their personal delivery of tutelary and political authority.

The two styles of authority are as follows:

Genuine Authority

Oppressive Authority

benign, luminous and truly educative

punitive, indoctrinating and intimidating

This proceeds from those people who are flourishing from their own inner resources and can thereby enable other people to flower in the same way.

This is rigid authoritarianism and proceeds from people who are denying some of their basic inner resources and can only use a model of overcontrol in trying to educate others.

It manifests as the facilitative ability to empower. It is the basis of the move towards learner centred and experiential learning. It manifest as the manipulative power to dominate. It has been the bane of education at all levels. Traditional teaching, still strongly with us, is beset by authoritarianism
Charismatic authority is central to this and thus underlies tutelary and political authority Those operating in this way tend to try and dismiss tutelary, political and charismatic authority as being the same thing.

Top of this one-pager       Top of this webpage


The Project Agent

Oakley P et al (1991) Projects with People; ILO/WEP

The project agent has been variously described as an educator, catalyst, facilitator, broker, intermediary or activist, and this broad range of terms reflects the diffuseness of the agent's role and the difficulties of encapsulating it within commonly understood perameters. A review of participatory projects suggests the following as the major dimensions of the project agent's role: An outsider who comes with ready made solutions is worse than useless. He must first understand from us what our questions are and help us articulate the questions better, and then help us find solutions. Outsiders also have to change. He alone is a friend who helps us think about our problems on our own (Tilakaratna, 1987)



A process of assisting people to develop their own intellectual capacities, that is, to stimulate their critical awareness; this critical awareness enables rural people to examine and explain issues in their own words and, as a result, to realise what they can do to bring about change.


The development of internal cohesion and solidarity among rural people, and of some form of structure or organization which can help bring the people together and serve as the forum for their continued involvement.


A service role which assists people to undertake specific actions designed to strengthen their participation; these actions can include the acquiring of particular technical skills, gaining access to available resources or translating their own ideas into feasible projects.


To serve, in the initial stages, as a go-between in relation to other external services or forces; to help establish contacts with existing services and introduce people to the procedures and mechanisms for dealing with these services.


To help develop links between people in similar contexts and facing similar problems; this linking at district and regional level creates a wider base of support for participation.


A progressive redundancy, whereby the agent consciously withdraws from a direct role with the people and increasingly encourages them to undertake and manage the projects in which they are involved.

Top of this one-pager       Top of this webpage


External Agents in PTD

Appropriate Technology Vol 21 No 1 June 1994 p4

There are a number of roles which external agents - be they AT organizations in the North or South, other NGOs, technical specialists, governments or local authorities - can play in a Participatory Technology Development (PTD) process, if they recognise that the basic goals of PTD are empowerment and equity. Not all roles are relevant or necessary in all circumstances: the following list covers a range of possible interventions.

External agents are not a homogenous group: donors, engineers, and intermediary organizations (for example) will all have different skills to offer, and different priorities. Work in PTD in agriculture indicates that possible roles can fall under four broad and occasionally overlapping headings: facilitator, networker, educator, and co-researcher.


bulletoffer support in the strengthening of local diagnostic skills (identifying problems or bottlenecks) whether or not the problems are technical.
bulletwhere useful and possible, help with the analysis of how desired change may be facilitated by technology.
bulletbe prepared to support the community in tackling issues of power and vested interests where these are factors in the changes that are needed.


bulletstrengthen local capacity to obtain and use technical or other information, both from inside and outside the area.
bulletstrengthen local technical capacity through the sharing of appropriate external information.
bullettranslate technical needs identified by local people into performance specifications for suppliers.
bullethelp to facilitate the formation of necessary links between those wanting change, and the markets, R&D insititutions, and other sources of knowledge, both nationally and regionally.


bulletsupport local skills in the identification of necessary changes, and possible solutions.
bulletwhere possible, help to widen the range of methods and solutions available.
bulletbe prepared to offer advice when asked, but also to withdraw when not needed.


bullethelp identify the appropriate non-technical skills that are needed.
bulletrecognize and help to strengthen local specifically technical skills in experimentation and adaptation, if necessary by supporting risk.

Top of this one-pager       Top of this webpage


Advisers as External Agents of Change.

Wilson DC & Rosenfeld RH (1990) Managing Organisations; McGraw Hill

Wilson and Rosenfeld (1990) set out a long list of possible reasons for external agents of change not being successful in promoting change. It is not an easy process but neither is it impossible.

The following list notes some of the ways in which an external agent of change has advantages over someone on the inside. External Agents can:

  1. act as "court jesters".

    They can poke fun at practices in the organization which others, who are employed within it, cannot voice without fear of repercussions for themselves or their department.

  2. act freely, not tied to office politics
  3. get access to a wider range of individuals and departments than internal people can
  4. use a wider "vocabulary" than organizational members.

    They can express organizational events and processes in a new way, and in terms unfamiliar to those in the organization. This alone can be a powerful stimulant for critical thinking and a first step towards getting people to think of a different future.

  5. send information around the organization which would be impossible or prohibited to others
  6. avoid responsibility, to some extent, if things subsequently go wrong

The external agent of change working alone is unlikely to cause significant organizational change. The best strategy is to work with several internal agents of change who are preferably drawn from different departments within the organization. These can provide the external agent with the detailed information which is needed and they can also act as a forum for trying out new ideas. Support from the highest authorities in the school will also be required.

The task then is to mobilise the internal group so as to achieve the "critical mass" of support which will be required before the change can be institutionalised or "refreezed". This latter process can be facilitated by inventing a new vocabulary to describe what happens in the new organizational pattern.

The internal group also have the longer term task of monitoring the extent to which the change is adopted and in keeping the initiative alive so as to prevent slippage back into the old ways.

Top of this one-pager       Top of this webpage


Facilitator Roles for Intervention

Everard B & Morris G (1990) Effective School management; PCP

The following list is taken from Everard and Morris (1990) at the end of Chapter 17 where they have been looking at "A Systematic Approach to Change."

Group Dynamics Adviser

eg bringing to the groups attention an important issue eg a disruptive group member; when they are conspiring to suppress; so that the problem can be faced and handled


about management processes, organizational structure

Process Facilitator

eg suggesting ways of getting a difficult decision unblocked

Learning Facilitator

eg to insist on more time being spent on process review rather than task


eg giving advice on a selection of a management technique; getting people to keep "learning logs"

Co-ordinator/ Convener

eg arranging meetings or other events on behalf of a task group


eg using a flipchart to help a group with its work

Observer/ Note taker

Keeping notes in two columns - task and process - for use in reviews

Discussion Leader

eg temporary take-over of the group process to get them back on track

Exemplar/ Demonstrator

eg showing a learning group how to review its process

Catalyst/ Assumption Challenger

eg a creative intervention that lifts a group out of its rut of tramelled thinking

Norm Establisher

eg create a climate in which it is OK to give and receive personal feedback

Resource Investigator

eg helping to satisfy a group’s need for information not immediately available


eg if a group does not manage its time well, then chivying it to complete the task


eg drawing attention to the group’s remit, if this seems forgotten


eg after the event, stimulating people to implement any plans they have agreed.

Task Facilitator

eg helping a group analyse the problem

Top of this one-pager       Top of this webpage


The 7Ds of a successful Adviser

Margerison CJ (1988) Managerial Consulting Skills - a practical guide; Gower

Margerison lists what he calls the 7Ds of effective consulting which could easily be seen as the 7Ds of a successful secondary school adviser:


what you are being asked to do carefully by asking the client(s) what they want to achieve as an output.


what or who is getting in the way by doing some investigations. Remember to bring people together who don’t normally meet to discuss issues face to face.


, in conjunction with your client, something that will be an improvement on the present approach.


a means of implementing the design so it becomes operational.


the new approach so everyone knows what to do, by training people and giving them both the tools and knowledge to change.


to the client the involvement and implementation at all levels. Remember your task is to be the consultant adviser, not take over the manager’s job.


through debate and discussion on a regular structured basis what has been learned and what can be done next.

And we can let William Shakespeare have the final word:

Give each man thine ear, but few thy voice;
Take each man’s censure, but reserve thy judgement ...
This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.

Top of this one-pager       Top of this webpage


Facilitating Change - keys to advisory success or failure

Margerison CJ (1988) Managerial Consulting Skills - a practical guide; Gower

The following list of key factors suggests what might contribute to the success or failure of an advisor (or a group of advisers) in attempting to facilitate change in a school:

Failure can be caused by:

  1. not involving influential persons early enough - the make or break people
  2. proposing solutions before problems are diagnosed
  3. presenting reports full of content without an equal regard for the process of discussion
  4. moving too quickly, causing surprises and creating defensive behaviour amongst clients
  5. not recognising the effect of change in one part of the system on another part of the system

Success is usually dependent on:

  1. spending time in understanding the cues and clues
  2. accurate summaries of issues raised, and effective conversational control
  3. in-depth contracting and agreement to ensure an action is on a solid basis
  4. attention to the political processes of the client’s organisation and the involvement of the relevant people
  5. delivery on time to the required standard
  6. the management of the assignment by establishing a structure through which all involved can resolve issues.
Sharp tasks
Think of a community group or an organisation in which you have had success or failure as an adviser or change agent. Use the above lists  to explain your results
The lack of coordination between  different agencies is a common complaint. If you were employed as a consultant to overcome this problem, how would you do it?

Top of this one-pager       Top of this webpage


The role of the external mentor

Vonk JHC (1993) Supervision of Instruction: Mentor Knowledge and Skills Base; Induction Programme, CIEMST, NUL

It has  often been observed that development happens from within. If this is true then what are the roles of people operating from without?      Counseling/facilitating would form a part. But what does this mean? Vonk (1993) provides some ideas about essential counselling skills targeted on individuals:

  1. establishing a good and caring relationship which, amongst other things, involves being ‘open’, showing unconditional acceptance of whatever the client feels, respecting what is told in confidence.
  2. being a good (active) listener which, amongst other things, involves mastering techniques such as paraphrasing, probing, and reflecting feelings.
  3. assisting with behavioural change eg by providing appropriate information and/or alternatives, encouraging decision making, and planning for further learning/training..
  4. knowing where to find appropriate information or, if the problem is beyond you, knowing who to recommend the client to see.

But many people find it difficult to keep to this ideal of counseling and tend rather to push forward their own perceptions, experiences and solutions. The following are some ideas to help prevent yourself from becoming an instructor:

  1. look at yourself as a facilitator of the other person’s thinking process
  2. listen rather than speak
  3. act as a mirror of the actions and the feelings observed ie notice them and describe them but do not ‘judge’ them
  4. be non-directive rather than directive ie offer several options or suggestions regarding any topic and let the client choose which to go with.

But, social activists also work with departments as a whole ie with groups, or possibly teams, of individuals. Groups can also be mentored. The essential processes would be similar to those mentioned above but there might be a need for some degree of input about team roles and team dynamics so as to give individuals a conceptual field and vocabulary-set to understand and talk about their relationships.

Top of this one-pager       Top of this webpage




louis vuitton outlet louis vuitton outlet louis vuitton outlet cheap louis vuitton sport blue 6s retro jordans for sale michael kors outlet cheap jordans kate spade outlet history of jordan 6s michael kors outlet michael kors outlet cheap jordan shoes louis vuitton outlet louis vuitton outlet kate spade outlet sport blue 6s Lebron 12 Jordan 5 3Lab5 sport blue 3s coach outlet online retro jordans Jordan 5 3Lab5 beat by dre outlet jordan 6 sport blue foamposites for sale jordan retro 11 louis vuitton outlet michael kors outlet michael kors outlet louis vuitton outlet sport blue 14s beats by dre cheap louis vuitton outlet louis vuitton outlet louis vuitton outlet louis vuitton outlet sport blue 14s sport blue 6s louis vuitton outlet