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The Truth About Transformation- Part 1 of 3

By Dr. Linda L. Miller -- President, iMind Transformation

This first of three articles on the 'truths of transformation' will offer clarity on how transformation work is different than the kind of change that leaders have been driving over their career. The second article describes why transformation should not be approached the same way as any other kind of project work, and sheds light on a new way of looking at how to achieve transformation objectives. The third article projects your initiative into the future and offers a line of inquiry that helps you discern whether the organization is or is not transforming as you go along.

Part 1: Is It Really Transformation?

Almost no one is doing business transformation well and many organizations look to IT, the CIO, and independent contractors for wisdom on how to innovate and when to duck and weave through the minefield of such radical change.

Despite best efforts of the IT folks I know, the new enlightenments lose integrity the moment they confront the deeply entrenched Industrial Age mindset that pervades or underpins most organizational culture. Instead, and regardless of how different the transformed state is, business-side leaders are reaching for tactics and techniques that used to succeed in the past and are applying these to transformation work, only to find that they have painfully reverse effects.

It’s become increasingly apparent that most leaders, managers, and staff in IT and in other business functions are not entirely clear on what ‘transformation’ is even though most can recite the strategic goals and objectives and even the vision of the transformation.  Folks are working away at projects, applying themselves as much as they can but shrug or express frustration when talking about what the point of the work is.

For the record, here is my definition of what point of most transformation is…

Transformation work is conducted to meet the challenge of an emerging New Millennium business environment or ‘era’.  Meeting the new demands requires the organization to depart along a new trajectory which is very different than the direction it had been going to grow and evolve previously. The New Millennium Era is characterised by a humanistic approach in how business adapts to new and greater consumer intelligence and power, the raising of marketplace minimum entry requirements for technology connectedness, and the necessity for compression of complex systems and processes into simple accessibility. This achievement demands a re-balancing of the development of technical aspects and social aspects to achieve optimum internal collaboration and maximum response; a consideration of the organization as system of interacting, mutually dependent parts, and a reliance on synchronous communication among and between those parts. And, a moving forward at all costs along relationships that are genuinely based in intrinsic motivation and intrinsic wisdom, where work is conducted under dispersed transformational leadership and participative management of innovation to realize business objectives.

This definition might not be that helpful, so I have shaped the primary characteristics of transformation into the test below…

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Dr. Linda L. Miller ( is in the business of mobilizing the organization’s wisdom, strengths and resources to adapt to rapid, sweeping and unrelenting change. Her search for methods to humanize the installation of transformative information technology over her 30-year career has led her to practices as a business process engineer, change management professional, and an executive coach. Along the way, Linda earned a doctorate degree in philosophy, and certifications in executive coaching and change management. Linda’s combination of education and experience uniquely qualifies her to advise on the changing emphasis of leadership in an emerging era that demands a shift from Industrial Age command-and-control thinking through Information Age knowledge-enabled ingenuity to New Millennium individualized meaning-centricity.