Transformations require brave and bold people with a variety of styles and roles. In the epic story of corporate disruptions, what kind of a change agent are you?

What kind of a change agent are you? What type do you aspire to be? What is your personal style? The organisational transformations facing established corporations require brave and bold change agents. And like any major disruption in human history, there are different types of agents working in a variety of styles.

This spring I was given the opportunity to teach lean+design facilitation at Aalto University’s computer science department. We went over the tools, tips, and tricks of a good facilitator, and also the organisational contexts in which service designers, agile coaches, product managers, and other change makers and leaders have to work in. 

However, as the course was coming to an end I realised that the students need to find their own style of facilitation. What is the angle, the philosophy, and the social role they find closest to their own skills, character, and narrative. Yes, narrative! This reminded me of “The 12 Common Archetypes” of egos by CG Jung and nicely presented by Carl Golden. For years, I had already used these archetypes of people in service design.

Long story short: I created a draft of facilitation archetypes or common archetypes of change agents. I posted it on LinkedIn, got some feedback, and revised the original list. Here is the outcome for you to enjoy. Thanks to all who commented and gave feedback.

My hope is that it helps change agents and organisational facilitators to find their own style, voice, and identity. Once you are in harmony with your own style and role, it is much easier to start building the fundamentals of any change agent: trust, rapport, and reputation.

P.S. What did I miss? What archetypes are not listed?


Risto Sarvas is a design culture engineer who has a long career working with software, design and strategy. At BearingPoint he has played a leading part in creating a unique approach into strategy design which blends hard analysis with the softer side of design thinking. Risto also works as an Adjunct Professor at Aalto University’s Information Networks program.

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