in Leadership

Change and Transformation – How Are They Related?

I have seen executives using the word “transformation” when they are really referring to “change”. Transformations are more deep rooted than change and it is critical to understand the difference between the two. Here are a few insightful resources that I found useful.

Earlier this year, Ron Ashkenas said, “We Still Don’t Know the Difference Between Change and Transformation” at Harvard Business Review. Here is a snippet from that post:

Transformation is another animal altogether. Unlike change management, it doesn’t focus on a few discrete, well-defined shifts, but rather on a portfolio of initiatives, which are interdependent or intersecting. More importantly, the overall goal of transformation is not just to execute a defined change — but to reinvent the organization and discover a new or revised business model based on a vision for the future.

At Quality and Innovation blog, Nicole Radziwill also explored this critical difference between change and transformation. She says,

Change is required for transformation, and all transformation involves change, but not all change is transformational.

In many ways, change is a subset of transformation but change alone cannot lead to transformation.

Closer home, Harlina Sodhi, Sr. Vice President at Reliance Industries recently wrote an excellent post with examples of change and transformation and demystifies the perceptions about change and transformation with respect to the constantly changing world of work that we live in. She says two things in her post that are noteworthy:

“Change is the consequence of Transformation”

“Transformation prescribes vision and Change subscribes to vision”

I created a sketch note based on best ideas from these three posts for an easy reference.

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Also Visit: Sketch Note: 6 Rules of Change by Esther Derby