Transformation Starts With Transparency

You know those consultants that tell you they’re going to “transform your organization bla bla bla”?

Yeah, I’m one of them.

There are so many good things that a coach or consultant can do for your organization, depending on what it is your needs and goals are, and what your agenda is.
(As a quick side note, no consultant, coach, or contractor should ever try to make you feel bad about what your goals and agenda are. Your goals are your business, period. But that’s another topic for another day.)

Some of those good things a coach or consultant may be able to help you with are:

  • Making things better
  • Making things faster
  • Making things cheaper
  • Making more things.

All of these things improve on your current situation.
Improvement is great. I mean, I’m all about incremental improvement, and finding realistic ways to reach our goals. I will happily work with people and organizations that have improvement goals, and will not leave your side until we’ve reached those goals.

But that’s not the stuff that gets my juices flowing, my brain buzzing, and my sometimes-sleep-deprived body jumping out of my seat with excitement.

Transformation, on the other hand, is that stuff.

Transformation, in its simplest sense, is change. But if you dig deeper, it’s more. It’s a complete change in form and appearance — it’s a change that starts from the inside and makes it so that you don’t even recognize the outside anymore.

I LOVE this comparison between change and transformation from “Change fixes the past. Transformation creates the future.”

That’s powerful. Transformation is about creating a future you want, via the actions you take today.
This isn’t to say that all those actions will be huge, complicated, or even that you can easily tell that they are the types of actions that will create the future you want.
It’s sometimes the subtlest of actions that create the most impactful transformations.

Also from “In CHANGE mode, the desire to improve the past directs what we do. The past sets boundaries and constrains possibilities. CHANGE makes the system better. In TRANSFORMATION mode, the future directs your actions and only the limits of imagination and courage constrain possibilities.TRANSFORMATION causes new systems to emerge.”

Ok, so you’re ready to transform. Excellent. Let’s get to work.

Oh, but wait. You don’t want to share that business goal with your team because you’re worried it will distract them?
And wait. You won’t share the ACTUAL issues your team is having with being able to produce their best work because you’re worried about what that conversation will result in?
Oh but you surely want to start being open about your bottlenecks and measure what you weren’t measuring before, right? No?

Well then, this whole transformation thing is probably not for you.

Because if you want the truth, transformation requires that you set your ego aside, put your guts out on the table, and be willing to question everything.

I’ve been fortunate to work with some teams that are willing to question everything.
YES, it can be uncomfortable.
YES, some days you question the questioning and want to just go back to what you did before.

But those teams that stick it out and do the uncomfortable thing every day until it isn’t uncomfortable anymore are the teams that win. They are the teams that look back and realize that they did this. They had the strength and resilience to be open about what’s working, what’s not working, and to take the actions needed to get better.

So before you embark on your transformation journey, ask yourself this: Are you, and is your organization, ready for transparency first?

If your answer is yes, well then it’s time to get to work, because there are so many exciting things to experiment with, learn, and achieve.

Want to create a new future for your organization? Hire my firm, 27Sprints to help you reach your organizational and innovation goals.