Herb Stevenson
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Transformative Change

Transformative Change Transformative Change

Transformative Change is a philosophical, practical and strategic process to effect revolutionary change within an organization, i.e., culture transformation. It is a systems approach applied to broad-based change to catalyze rapid shifts in the mental constructs inhibiting solutions to complex problems or in the organization’s culture that prevent it from realizing its full potential. It seeks to discover and integrate personal and organization development as an overarching approach to rapid change at all levels of system. It seeks to impact the mental constructs inhibiting solutions to complex problems or to completely shift the equilibrium of the organization to create a new culture.

Transformation is a Process

Transformation is a process through which who we are, individually and organizationally, is changed so deeply that the following are altered:

Transformation is about "Being the Change"

Transformative change embraces Gandhi's prophetic words that "we must be the change we want to see happen in the world." The process of transformative change always mirrors what it seeks to create. While honoring the lessons of the past and planning for the future, transformational change has a strong focus on what's happening right now, in the present...the point of infinite possibilities. For example, in individual change processes, while appreciating the impact of our past and establishing goals for the future, the power of transformative change is in actually becoming the fullness of who we are right here, right now. Or if we intend to create an organization culture to meet the changing economy more effectively, we must "be the change" right now by initiating an inclusive process of change.

Outcomes Sought

The transformative change process leads to a capacity to more skillfully practice presence, authenticity and interdependence throughout the organization. This is directly related to having greater awareness, clarity, and comfort with what is happening within the organization. Breakthroughs in ways of knowing, thinking, and accessing creativity increase as judgmental constructs dissolve. Our character is impacted in a way that is observable, felt and experienced by others. There is an increased ability to respond from a place of vision and compassion rather than ego or self-interest.

Not for the faint-hearted.

Transformative change requires vision and a commitment to implementation that will be tested through the crisis creating forces from the past to prevent the change. Once initiated, it is difficult to erase the awareness of what could be. Yet, the results can be astounding as exemplified by the transformative change of IBM led by Louis Gerstner in the 90's.

Transformation of an enterprise begins with a sense of crisis, or urgency. Changing the attitude and behavior of thousands of people is very, very hard to accomplish. You can't simply give a couple of speeches or write a new credo for the company and declare that a new culture has taken hold. You can't mandate it, can't engineer it. What you can do is create the conditions for transformation, provide incentives.
- Louis V. Gerstner, Jr.

Related Services

► Wholescale Change

Wholescale Change is a highly interactive and participative approach to change which seeks a paradigm shift - to guide the workplace away from centralized management and toward a more participative style. It helps organizations uncover and engage the combined knowledge and wisdom of their people to better utilize their own abilities to grow, change and lead. It seeks to implement change quickly and effectively throughout the organization supported by ongoing processes. Through highly interactive small and/or large group sessions, diverse people strive to take action toward a shared vision, working as a "whole" and individually.

► Shadow Consulting

Consultant's Consultants have been called Shadow consultants for nearly four decades. Marjan Shroder coined the term, shadow consultant, in 1972 while describing the informal process that consultant's have used between each other for as long as consultants have existed.  Generally, he noted that  the shadow consultant "at the request of a colleague (or team of colleagues) and by means of a series of discussions, helps assess—and, if necessary, change—that colleague's diagnosis, tactics, or role in a specific assignment". (Shroder, 1974, 580) The merit of the shadow consultant "lies in his noninvolvement, which makes it easier for him to keep track of the main issues, and to take the consultant's way of functioning into account; nevertheless, because different consultants stress different aspects of a project, the shadow consultant's contribution may also broaden the consultant's general professional skills and insights." (Shroder, 1974, 581)

► Culture Change

Over the several last decades, mergers and acquisitions have become very common. Studies during this period indicate that up to 70% of M&As fail to meet expectations.* Frequently, a major contributing cause is the failure to fully address the cultural differences as occurred when Quaker Oats bought Snapple for $1.7 billion to add to the Gatorade success, only to sell it later for $300 million at a loss of $1.4 billion due in great part to massive cultural clashes.

*See Pautler, Paul A. (January, 21, 2003) The Effects of Mergers and Post Merger Integration: A Review of the Business Consulting Literature. Bureau of Economics, Federal Trade Commission for a thorough review of the research indicating these figures.

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