Organisation Transformation Research: ‘Fateful Framings’

Change & Organisation Development

by Andrew Day

22 January, 2019

Over the past year, we have been researching the practice of transformation in organisations.  A brief summary of our findings follows.

If you would like to read our findings in more depth, then you can download a copy of the report by clicking on the link at the end of this blog.

What we discovered about transformation

Remarkably, when we started exploring this topic we found that:

– Firstly, many organisations are struggling to both conceptualise how to transform themselves and to undertake transformations.  Indeed, many projects unwittingly seem to end up doing more to reinforce existing paradigms; in other words, they are ‘more of the same’!

– And, secondly, there is little applied research that explores what organisations actually do when they attempt to ‘transform’ themselves; and little research into what works and what does not.

After 12 months of inquiry with our clients into their experiences of transformation initiatives, we discovered that:

– Transformations are social processes of discovery, creativity and innovation. Success requires the mobilisation of collective intelligence, imagination and energy.

– The process of transformation is characterised by ongoing challenges, dilemmas and contradictory emotions including anxiety, discomfort, uncertainty, hope and excitement.

– How the transformation is framed influences whether and how people respond and whether they engage.  Most transformations are underpinned by metaphors and narratives that either bring it to life – creating a sense of opportunity and possibility – or generate fear and anxiety.

– Transformation requires the organisation to tell itself different stories about itself. This process happens in social interaction and conversation.

> Leaders enable transformation by telling a coherent and compelling story about the future, holding their nerve, engendering confidence, and role modelling what they are asking of people.

If you want to read more about what we have discovered, you can find the full report here

Please feel free to distribute and share this research across your networks.

If you need help and guidance with transformation and change in your organisation then please get in touch

Organisation Transformation Research: ‘Fateful Framings’

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