Change or Transformation: What is it You Really Want?

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September 5, 2017

by Boudewijn Roubroeks

I see a misconception when people/organizations are talking about change and transformation. Both terms are mixed up. Sometimes they say they want a transformation but:

·     what they actually do is change

·     they are only brave enough to change

·     they settle for change

Transformation is not better than change or vice versa. It depends on what we want, look for, desire. However, let us be clear upfront what we really want and even more important: what the consequences are.

For me, transformation is the process where one reaches a whole new level, without being able to return to the old level (caterpillar -> butterfly). Otherwise, it would be called: change (water -> ice -> water again).

People/organizations can change without transforming. However, they cannot transform without changing.

Change is doing things differently. Transformation is a new way of being.

Change is focussed on methods and processes. Transformation is focussed on mindsets and beliefs.

Change fixes the past. Transformation creates the future.

One needs people with different skills, mindsets, abilities or character for change than for transformation.

Once we know what we really want, then we need to find out what the consequences are of our decision. And once we agree on this too, then we can start the change or transformation journey.

So, if you are in a conversation where the words ‘change’ or ‘transformation’ are being used, start asking questions to fully understand each other and avoid the trap of misconception.

Boudewijn originally published this on LinkedIn

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Carla Johnson helps leaders who are often paralyzed by traditional thinking. They suffer from slow growth, an eroding competitive advantage, low employee engagement, and depleted investor confidence. Their teams lack purpose and progress and constantly battle a resistance to change and new ideas.

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