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  • Writer's picturemarionriehemann

"If Change makes something better, Transformation creates a better Something"

Last week facilitating a Transformational Leadership Program for 80 leaders, the following distinction catalyzed an Aha!-Moment in the room:


What is the difference between Change and Transformation?

Which areas of your organization need change and which need transformation - or both?

What mindset and decision-making approach is required for each?


Using the CYNEFIN framework: Is change pointing to the complicated domain? And is transformation pointing to the complex and/or the chaotic domain?


๐Ÿš€๐Ÿ’ก Shifting Perspectives: Change vs. Transformation in the Executive Realm



๐Ÿ”„ Change: Fixing the Past


Change, the familiar companion of progress, often emerges as a response to external stimuli. It unfolds gradually, encompassing specific alterations aimed at enhancing existing paradigms.


With change, we strive for "better, faster, cheaper" solutions, anchored in the past as our reference point.

However, change is akin to refurbishing a house; while it may improve upon the existing structure, it remains tethered to its foundation, limited by past constraints.


๐Ÿ”ฎ Transformation: Creating the Future

Contrastingly, transformation embodies a deliberate, holistic shiftโ€” like a caterpillar metamorphosing into a butterfly or a phoenix rising from the ashes of the past.

It liberates us from the shackles of tradition, empowering us to envision and design a future unconstrained by historical norms. Transformation defies comparison to the past; instead, it births a future that is entirely novel, a blank canvas awaiting our innovative strokes. It begins with a thorough understanding of the present, enabling us to craft specific promises about the future and take decisive action to manifest our vision with unwavering integrity.



๐ŸŒŸ Embracing the Journey

In essence, while change tinkers with the fragments of yesterday, transformation forges a path towards an uncharted tomorrow. Let us not merely settle for incremental improvements but instead dare to dream, to innovate, to transform. As senior executives, our mandate is not only to steer the ship through turbulent waters but also to chart a course towards uncharted horizons.

Let's embark on this journey of transformation together, pioneering new frontiers and sculpting a future that transcends the limitations of the past.


๐Ÿ’ฌ "Change fixes the past. Transformation creates the future."

Let us heed these words as we navigate the complexities of leadership, embracing transformation as the catalyst for ushering in a future brimming with boundless possibilities.



๐Ÿš€๐Ÿ’ผ Join the Conversation

How do you distinguish between change and transformation in your leadership and transformation endeavors? I would like to ignite a dialogue that inspires, challenges, and propels us towards collective growth, development and innovation.




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