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The Truth About Transformation - Part 2 of 3

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

Part 2: How Far is it From Here to 'Transformed'?

The first article in this series talked about how to tell if your initiative is indeed a transformation, or just a regular change. This article offers insight into the target/transformation paradigm as the goal you're working for when you transform.

Regardless of how much change management business-side leaders employ, there is a lingering insistence that this work should create or follow a machine-like pathway for change to occur -- that is, business-side leaders approach change as if the organization is a machine or assembly line, and when they begin to realize that it isn't they bring change management specialists to make it that way. In fact, most modern organizations are like organisms with many inter-related systems and overarching controls and channels for information flow and direction.


The above depiction is not news to most IT leaders. Helping business-side leaders to come to terms with this, is another matter and so I can offer some grounding points for CIOs in their efforts to deal with gaps in understanding and promote a more appropriate way of getting transformative change through.


Hallmarks of the mindset that is indicative of an organization that is ready to do the work to shift paradigms/lead and manage transformation include:

  1. Knowledge that future success cannot be predicated on the past – at least not for the next 20 years

  2. Understanding that universal, predictable, and very specific qualities and characteristics underpin the transformed state and are the target

  3. Knowing that a tried and true recipe for failure is to approach transformation work as if the organization is a like a machine rather than like an organism

  4. Recognition that Industrial Age paradigms are so deeply embedded that breakdowns and breakthroughs should be pursued and managed as a necessary process of transformation at the organization, team and individual levels

  5. Acceptance that the new paradigm is so foreign that it will take disciplined effort to transform from being like an ‘organism’ that grows and evolves, into a ‘flux’ that is never the same from one day to the next.

  6. Acceptance that in order to save time, money, and the mental, physical, and emotional health of people, preparing the way for transformation work in advance is necessary – and this is accomplished by targeting the paradigm shift in addition to applying classic change management.

So, all of this begs the question ‘How far do we need to go to transform?’  i.e. ascertaining the depth and nature of the journey can be a big help.  Not only does this thumbnail enable some preparation to be made, it adds a degree of predictability amidst the sea of unknowns that typically accompany transformative change.


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.