The Case for Transformation versus more and more Change Management
Whenever a group of leaders wants to create a new future, when they are ready and willing for real change, they almost invariably look to change some “thing”: the people, the resources, the vision, the goal, the plan… They rarely look at the culture or the reactive thinking that has created limits on imagining and implementing what’s truly possible. Reacting to past experiences of failure and discomfort, groups typically devolve into survival thinking. This world-view sees innovation as a threat without anyone being able to acknowledge seeing it as a threat.
Instead of real change, most groups end up more invested in these two conversations:
“How do we survive?”
— OR —
“How do we hang on to a modified version of what we’ve already got?”
These two conversations frequently masquerade as actual innovation.
The result of this survival-based thinking is a slow and predictable downward spiral into mediocrity. Which means that uncovering and altering ones past-derived and taken-for-granted thinking is nothing short of an invaluable transformation.
Strategic planning embedded in change management leaves people with goals, actions, and tactics inside the same taken-for-granted assumptions about “what’s right” and “the way we’ve always done it.” Transformative change provides people with an experiential process that has them self-discover their limiting assumptions. This discovery permanently alters their outlook. A new outlook, unconstrained by the previous and artificial limits, provides increased power and flexibility to shift the group’s stated goals and the culture that will deliver on those outcomes. This shift is distinct from incremental progress and reliably produces a state change in performance.
This is possible because new outlooks reveal new choices, behaviours, and practices which the old outlook kept hidden.
This new outlook also creates new openings within which leaders can act inherently new actions. These distinctly different actions create radically different outcomes, which include altering the usual trajectory of management-staff relationships during times of change.
The bottom line is this: if there are no new actions, then there are no new outcomes, which means there is no new future. And there are, by definition, no new actions available when using the same thinking that got you to the current state.
If you don’t find a way to deal with the current and invisible set of assumptions you have about your company…your future is already written and you don’t even know it.
Vik Maraj, Unstoppable Conversations