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The Truth About Transformation

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

Part 3 of 3 -- Are We Transforming Yet?

With the fuller picture of the end transformed state tough to pin down, how does the organization get a bead on whether the efforts made to transform are or are not working? Having ascertained that your work is indeed transformation (the first article in this series), and come to a thumbnail understanding of the depth and nature of your transformation journey (the second article in this series), you are probably hungry for indicators that transformation is in fact taking place.

As the New Millennium Era dawned, most organizations were straddling Industrial Age and Information Age paradigms that have steadily drifted apart over the past 15 years. The irony is that what transformation aims for transcends the Information Age, rather using it as a fulcrum for reshaping the paradigm, culture, etc. to match the New Millennium Age characteristics:

  • Social- and Knowledge-Empowered Consumers

  • Value and Individual Meaning Driven Employees

  • Co-Creation of Products and Services to Meet Needs as They Emerge

  • Everything, All the Time, Along Many Dimensions via Multiple Channels

  • Contribution Valued Above Compensation and 'Performance'

  • Speed of Adaptation at the Organization, Team and Individual Levels is Mission Critical

  • Processes Favor the Consumer Rather Than the Corporation

  • Cooperative Learning and Personal Fulfillment are Valued Above Material Gain

  • Self-Efficacy of the Consumer and the Employee are the Norm

Well, the great thing about having a set of characteristics of a paradigm to shoot for is that those characteristics can be used to remake the compass that the organization uses to make progress toward its transformation goals. First, some key points should be kept in mind while transforming:

  1. Create fertile ground for transformation to take root before spending any capital dollars

  2. The most common error is managing transformation as if the organization is a machine -- this will burn through money, time, and people in a hurry

  3. You can't go too far in changing how your people see their work and each other

  4. Shifting from change management to achieving the characteristics of the New Millennium Era paradigm leverages success

  5. Treat the embedded Industrial Age mindset like an addiction

  6. Remember that Industrial Age and Information Age are drifting apart, if your organization is straddling these paradigms, crisis is imminent

  7. Once you land mostly in the Information Age mindset, you still have work to do to get to 'flux' New-Millennium Age, continuous transformation mindset

  8. Keep the primary shifts from and to that redefine 'success' in your back pocket at all times (the second article in this series)

  9. If it isn't painful, it's not transformative; if you're not breaking down you're not breaking through


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.