Difference Between Change and Transformation
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. It’s much more unpredictable, iterative, and experimental. It entails much higher risk. And even if successful change management leads to the execution of certain initiatives within the transformation portfolio, the overall transformation could still fail.
It’s easy to beat ourselves up over failures in change management and the various studies that show we’re not getting better at it. But we really do know how to execute discrete changes. What we know much less about is how to engineer a transformation. And if we want to get better, let’s at least start by being more clear about which one is which.