Monthly Archives: November 2015

futility against the flow

Creating New Space in Relationships

Flexibility and forbearance are an uneasy necessity when attempting to grasp the ungraspable.

Over the course of transformative work a good deal of pushing and pulling among people can occur as each tries to grasp the meaning of such vast changes for themselves and their particular group.

Strategic partnerships can be strained in efforts to discern, interpret, and put into action exactly what the new state will yield in terms of changes in service level agreements, performance measures and profit margins.

Suspending judgement in the face of ambiguity is the larger part of creating space in internal relationships and strategic partnerships as they shift and move with transformation. Application of co-creation techniques, exercises in inter-connectedness, and a high level of one-to-one engagement in shaping the new relationship all benefit from the assistance of a professional skilled in matters related to making the paradigm shifts associated with business transformation however it arises.

lovr knot

Bridging the Gap in Mindset

image006image007To be really good at transformation the binders must come off.

These two images capture the ‘from’ and ‘to’ of making the mindset shift into an agile, interoperable organization that is capable of continuous transformation.

Each organization has a greater or lesser degree of each mindset and the reason for the identification and discrete definition of the Transformational Organization Paradigm is to provide a platform for assessing the current mindset of the organization.

Characteristics of pre-millennium thinking that are fast becomming obsolete can be described as ‘Industrial Age’ in nature. The degree to which an organization holds to Industrial Age thinking, methods, organizational structures, practices in management and governance, and leadership techniques indicates how large a gap must be bridged to bring the organization into alignment with new-millennium ways of operating.

Moving from Industrial Age thinking through Information Age tactics to New Millennium ideologies is work each pre-millennium business must approach. The Transformational Organization Paradigm and Framework provide a measurable, repeatable way of doing just that.

In this area of the Transformational Organization Framework, employee demographics, prevalent leadership styles, reward and value characteristics are evaluated against the particular industry, business environment and specific transformational pressures the organization faces.

Before an organization can embrace the kind of agility and inter-operability represented in the second image above a number of dicotomies must be resolved within the day to day work context of the balance of employees from the board and executive team to field staff. Below is an example of these.

Industrial Age to Information Age First

In order to bridge the gap in mindset the organization must also address the divide between the ‘business’ side of the organization and the ‘technology’ side of the organization. So as the organization work to bridge the gap in mindset, it must also work to bridge the divide between ‘business’ and ‘technology’.

The common objective is an aligned stride and cadence of organizational agility – in preparation for the next ‘age’ that is coming into view.


Paradox 4x1,5

Harnessing the Power of Paradox

The very nature of business transformation is a paradox.

A fundamental principle of transformation and part of what makes transformation different than ‘change’ is that the polarization of mindset from current state to transformed state is so dramatic that the two ways of thinking are nearly impossible to consider together.

The Transformational Organization Paradigm uses the naturally occurring paradoxes in thinking, activity, and outcome as a source of forward propulsion for transformative work. At each level of the organization affected by transformative work paradoxes of intention, demand, skillset, goal and purpose exist. Identifying these as transformative work is approached and as they emerge over the course of the initiative is typically untapped success leverage. Leaders, operational staff and program and project team members will often be shocked into immobilization when confronted by paradoxical demands inherent in transformative work, or otherwise may have difficulty navigating the paradoxes and working through them. In doing so they ignore a powerful tool that may be used to move more deftly through ambiguity and uncertainty toward the transformed state.

Transformative paradoxes must be taken in as a whole rather than expressed in piecemeal by individual risk items or issue items or resistance items. And, the greatest forward motion a transformative effort can gain is through constantly encountering and resolving the highest friction point within the paradox.

The Transformational Organization maps the transformation paradoxes across the organizations formal and informal functions, groups, and teams as part of the transformation strategy work. And as each program, project, task force, work package and activity is approached the paradoxes inherent in moving from current state to transformed state are remapped at lower and lower levels.

The identification, mapping and navigation of paradoxes also forms a large part of specific change intelligence capabilities related to turning unacceptable unknowns/uncertainty into acceptable unknowns/uncertainty in the minds of executive, management and staff.

Navigating paradoxes is a skill that requires each leader and team member to confront the opposing directives, thinking, activity, outcome, assumptions, intention, demand, skillset, goal or purpose within the current context and ask questions like : What new truth are realizing at this point? What is real and harness-able at this moment that will move us forward? What can I think and do now that matters?

The image above represents the paradox that is the very nature of business transformation.


Managing the Continuous Transformation Lifecycle

All transformation is change, but not all change is transformative.

With the increased speed of business in the new millennium, a larger pattern of transformation emerges as a discrete lifecycle. Each stage of the lifecycle requires common enterpries-wide techniques for leadership and demands a shift in how the organization generates new knowledge.

The Continuous Transformation Management Framework provides a roadmap for organizations in achieving the capabilities required to evolve through transformative events, in turn enabling optimal agility.


Connect Key

Starting With Leadership

Most clients begin applying the Transformational Organization Framework by developing a depth of leadership skills specific to transformation.

This serves the multiple purposes : suspending the current culture and organization ‘paradigm’ so that transformative initatives have the space to create an island of the transformed state, equipping the organization with the leadership tools and techniques requried to realize the transformation, clearly defining the role of the transformation leader, and preparing sponsors for their role in the transformation.

Because transformation demands an entirely new way of thinking to be successful, Transformational Leadership methods and practices adapted from the work of James McGregor Burns and Bernard M. Bass are implemented according to the specific circumstances, objectives and environment of the client and an assessment of the current transformational leadership capability within the organization.

View & Download the Leadership-Centric Services Diagram to see how it works.


Aligning With Internal Wisdom

The internal wisdom of the organization and its people form the foundation for achievement of the Transformationl Organization Paradigm. This wisdom guides the decision about where to start and how to focus the effort for short term, near term and longer term results.

iMind experts work with internal leaders who have expertise in at least two of the following areas:

– Leadership Development
– Organizational Design and Development
– Change Management
– Business Transformation Office
– Project and Porfolio Management
– Enterprise Information Technology Application

In this way there is a naturally optimal customization of the techniques, and an organic absorption of the ‘transformational’ shifts in thinking.

puzzle pieces


Based in 4 years of research in applying the principles of business psychology and human evolution related to organizational thinking, and more than a decade of practical experience in adapting these to promote the success of transforming organizations, the Transformational Organization Paradigm addresses all aspects of the organization:

  • Governance & Strategy
  • Operations
  • Portfolios and Programs

components diagram

The underpinnings of the Transformational Organization Paradigm and its components are:

  • Global best practices in business transformation
  • Global best practices in change management
  • International standards for executive coaching and leadership development
  • New thought in the area of business psychology and organizational design and development
  • New thought in the area of radical change and transformative change triggered by ‘New Millennium’ business environment pressures

The Continuous Transformation Management Framework is a set of practical tools and approaches to improving the organizations ability to transform : more cost effectively, in greater alignment with the transformation vision – the organizations new ‘trajectory’.

The METRIC model is the set of measures that answer the question ‘are we transforming’.


Door knob Small


Although the principles of the Transformational Organization Paradigm are universal for the most part, certain kinds of organizations benefit most from pursuit of its achievement.

– Organizations whose customers are the general public
– Organizations that perform to and report against a triple bottom line
– Governments, arms-length, or highly regulated organizations
– High-tech, or innovation-oriented organizations
– Consortiums and organizations founded in strategic partnerships


Engaging People at a Cellular Level

The fundamentals of Transformational Leadership (Burns and Bass) are discussed and adapted to business transformation leadership in this inspirational talk.  The gritty realities of transforming are balanced against the vastness of opportunity presented during times of dramatic change and transformation.

This talk describes how to walk the line between inspiring ideation and co-creation and managing the necessity to individualize when leading others through transformation.