Transformation ..published by John J. Scherer, Gina Lavery, Roland Sullivan, Ginger Whitson and Elizabeth Vales

There is change and there is transformation. Change is altering something within the given parameters of the situation, but keeping the fundamentals basically the same, like going faster in first gear. Some examples include changing to a new Performance Management Process, installing a different Information Technology platform, sending everyone through a training program, merging two organizations, or reducing the workforce. These interventions are often necessary—but are rarely sufficient to transform an entire system. Something else may be needed – not “more-of-the-same-only-different,” which is change, but something entirely different – like shifting into another gear, or as a more powerful analogy, leaving your car to use a plane to get where you are headed.
We use the image of the quantum leap, which is what happens when an electron makes a shift to another state within an atom (Zukav, 1979). The actual shift from one “shell” to the next does not happen gradually over time. It is discontinuous. One moment the atom is in one state with a certain configuration among its electrons; the next instant it is in another state, which dramatically alters the nature of the atom. In the vernacular, “quantum leap”’ has come to mean a relatively small “jump” that makes a huge difference, and happens all at once.
This jump is what we refer to as transformation. Transformation is a sudden shift that is so profound that the old situation and the way you saw that situation are either left behind or are subsumed into a new way of seeing and doing things. It is actually a new way of being that alters the system’s relationship to what is happening. Chapter co-author Gina Lavery refers to it as the “birth” of a new view because it can be painful, uncomfortable, messy and unpredictable.
Transformation means “going back to zero” and re-thinking the fundamental principles and paradigms on which you are basing what you do and how you do it. When you make a
quantum (transformational) leap, there is a shift in the way the world occurs for people, such as:
• The strategic intention or the ‘Big Idea’ behind the enterprise is understood and embraced by a majority of the organization.
• Employees start working together in completely new ways.
• A sense of accountability and ‘ownership’ becomes personal and present at all levels in the system.
• Leaders lead from a more authentic, related and integrated stance.
• Decision-making becomes more collaborative, and conflicts are handled instead of avoided.
• Communication becomes more honest, especially up the organization.
Change is always embedded in transformation, but the opposite is rarely the case.

Implementing WST Processes
In virtually every request for transformation, some or all of the following elements are present. First, there is an awareness among a few key leaders that “things are not working,” that there are forces and/or factors at work in the organization’s world that must be reckoned with, and that some units—or the entire system—would benefit from breakthroughs that lead to higher levels of effectiveness or performance.
Second, those same leaders have had some kind of a transformational experience that allows them to see that the normal ways the system addresses situations like this are not likely to work, and that they must take a radically different approach. It is important to have a senior leader in the system who sees or wants transformation for the organization, and is well-positioned and willing to be a strong “champion” in making it happen.
Finally, the notion that the “answers” or “‘solutions” are already in the system somewhere, rather than existing only in the reports of expert external consultants—or in senior management. The developed leadership core must realize that there is a lot more potential to be actualized.

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