Practices and Methods
The Meaning of Transformation
Transforming on purpose
An organization is a living system made up of people interacting with one another. Not just interacting for the sake of interacting but interacting for a purpose whatever that might be.
The purpose is at the centre of the organization’s identity – its reason for being. It provides coherence for all of the activities performed by the people as they animate the purpose and strive to reach the organization’s goals.
The process of change
So, transformation is a change at the level of identity for a living system. This could be a revised purpose, or new normative values, or new goals that require the shedding of old capabilities and the development of new ones. As the change process proceeds, the living system reconfigures its capabilities, strengthens the connections between them, behaves in new ways, and achieves new outcomes that were not previously possible. At the end of the process, the organization is different. It appears different to those on the inside and the outside. It’s no longer recognizable as the organization it was because something new has emerged.
Implicit in this process is a small death. Not the big final death, but a death, nonetheless. For something to transform, some legacy aspect of identity has to die, or cease to exist. Something is left behind, and the organization moves forward with a new identity configured around a new purpose or mission, that is more relevant for all stakeholders involved.
So that’s what we mean by transformation. Transformation is possible. It just requires the intention to change. And that’s where we come in. We are Transformation by Design and we partner with you to collaboratively design the future of your organization.