Folks who are interested in continuous improvement -- the purposeful pursuit of betterment -- are really in the business of transformation.
Transformational shifts occur when we learn to optimize the alignment of our Ways of Thinking, our Ways of Behaving, and our Ways of Symbolizing to our Vision -- what we have decided to be and where we have decided we want to go.
Here are a few things that DO NOT translate into transformation...
- Confusing...Words are not outcomes. Teaching does not automatically mean learning happens. Talking does not mean listening occurred. Sharing of data means nothing without subsequent and consequential action around that data. Information matters only when it is followed by meaningful changes in Ways of Thinking, Ways of Behaving, and Ways of Symbolizing.
- Coercing...Attempting to force Ways of Thinking, Ways of Behaving, and Ways of Symbolizing on others through brute force is a failure in understanding history or human psychology. Others have a million ways to "dissent," both in overt and covert ways (and they will/do). Substantive change is a change of "habits," which requires constant attention, revision, and recommitments. Changes in habit stick only when they are intrinsically embraced. Everyone is a volunteer, and should be treated as such.
- Confounding...Structural changes don't automatically translate into behavioral changes. New paint looks and smells great, but does not change the viewpoint and output of the organization. Reorgs can be helpful, but are inconsequential unless they impact Ways of Thinking, Ways of Behaving, and Ways of Symbolizing.
TRANSFORMATION requires tenacious, attentive, persistent work.
It starts with the leadership. Knowing what strategies will help is a good first step.
Knowing what NOT to do, or assume, is just as important.
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