Epiphanies for Everybody

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Transformation Starts With You

August 29, 20232 min read

Transformation Starts With You

Transformation isn’t just for other people.

In all the conversations I’ve had, or consultant reports that I’ve read in the last 10 years, every description of <Buzzword> Transformation talks about changing things on the ground, or possibly up as high as middle management. They talk about changing ways of working. They talk about teams doing things differently.

They don’t talk about the role and responsibility of the executive. There can be no organisational change without leadership change. When you want people to adopt new thinking, behaviours, habits, practices, and approaches, you need to be clear on why they’re adopting them. If you, as the executive, don’t see things through the desired new perspective, then you will not manage things as if the new perspective is reality. If you can’t manage things differently, then all your words and desires are meaningless. People respond to what the system demands, not your words. For many of them, the words are familiar; they’ve heard them before, in one form or another, for years. I don’t need to tell you this; you already know that actions speak louder than words.

If you tell people to release low risk, well-tested, validated changes, frequently, but you reward heroics, working after hours, and crunch-time commitment, then you will get heroics, working after hours, and crunch-time commitment. You will not get frequent, low-risk, well-tested, validated changes.

The way you, as a leader, see the world, has to change, if you want your organisation to change. There are no exceptions.

To transform your organisation, you must first transform yourself. Once you have changed, the needs of your new perspective will become clearer, and the changes you need to make will become much more obvious. If you can’t make that commitment to yourself, you’ll never be able to coerce others to make it, either.

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