The deeper values of transformation
The pressure on us as leaders to effect transformation is huge, especially now. And most often when it comes to the tangible elements of transformation we can tend to understand these more easily, can get hold of them and grapple them into their new shape – the infrastructure, the organisation structures, new processes, new products and services.
The thing we all know instinctively, and yet often find much harder to deal with, is that the outer form of transformation is, in reality, only half the job. The other significant part of true transformation lies in the subtler realms of behaviour, attitude and mind-set. It would be possible to argue in fact, that without this ‘inner’ transformation true transformation cannot really take place. We can rebrand, rebadge, reshape the physical aspects of our organisational world but unless we are clear about (and striving toward) what we need to change in the inner attitudinal and belief structures of our organisation then we have really only ‘rearranged the deckchairs’.
I recall a culture audit that we conducted where the results clearly indicated a mismatch between the current mind-set and attitudes of the collective and those desired (to deliver the transformed role and service of the organisation) and yet when presented to and discussed with the Board, the level of energetic rejection was very high.
So why do we find this inner transformation so challenging to even approach and discuss let alone do anything about? I believe it is because it calls on each of us to look deeply at the underlying belief systems and attitudes within our own inner world or system before we can truly and meaningfully examine those that sit within the collective organisation. It requires the leaders not to point their fingers at others to effect the transformation but to firstly deeply consider what they need to change within themselves, their own attitudes.
This is the true journey of organisational transformation and change. If we want to give the shiny new structures and products real value then we first have to examine our own values and how they really show up.