What is transformation
Most managers focus strongly on business analyses and strategy discussions, seeking to initiate projects that yield quick results. Often, however, these don’t achieve the desired outcome and encounter inefficiency and resistance within the organization. Why is that? In many cases, this can be explained in light of the organizational culture. As Peter Drucker once put it: culture eats strategy for breakfast.
We are convinced that sustainable change has to start on the inside, with our mindsets, before it can take shape on the outside. Inside-out. We define transformation as a lasting shift in our thinking (mindset) and perception – only after this do we change our behavior.
How do I see the (company) environment and the people around me? What meaning do I attribute to events, and how do I interpret my own behavior and that of others? The first step in a transformational process is to get to know yourself and your team better: what are my personal values, what values do we share? What are our interpretation filters and our behavior patterns? Is what I perceive really ‘true’? And does all this – what I think and feel, and externalize in my behavior and communication – help me to achieve the desired outcome?
Rather than merely ‘doing something different’, we support and advise managers and their teams on how to ‘do things differently’, to evolve new and more effective habits. Changing patterns of thinking and behavior takes time and effort, an investment which is necessary if we are to progress from merely understanding the new patterns to a level at which we adopt them instinctively and effortlessly. This is why our workshops and coaching projects are always designed as part of a more fundamental transformation process.
The transformation paradigm
Most transformation processes are driven primarily by the need or desire for better economic performance (‘better results’). As well as the business side of things, however, there are two further aspects to an organization which need to be part of the transformation process; we describe this as the ‘I-We-It’ model. ‘It’ stands for a company’s strategies, systems, structures and business activities – these are usually the main focus of change projects. But in order to efficiently manage and develop these purely business elements, an organization needs a strong ‘We’ – a unified leadership team with enduring partnerships based on trust, shared values and an overarching mutual purpose. This enables a well-configured team to become a source of economic power which stimulates it members and helps them grow, unlocking their hidden potential. There are few joys in life that compare with experiencing success as part of a team.
The ‘We’ in turn consists of many ‘I’s – individual leaders who can stand on their own, manage themselves in a responsible way, experience fulfilment in their work and take ownership of the company’s interests.
Strategies do not deliver results − people do. People are the key element in every successful endeavor. For this very reason, every transformation has to start with the ‘I’s. According to our ‘anthropology of leadership’, a clear understanding of ourselves − what drives us, what makes us tick – forms an essential foundation for the transformation of any organization.
The transformation process
For these reasons our approach to transformation is based on the ‘I’ and ‘We’ sides of the tri-part model, and targets three distinct layers: personal development, team development and leadership development.
Personal development focusses on the questions: Who am I? What are my strengths and weaknesses as an individual? What am I here for? What is important to me? The first vital step to becoming a better leader is to discover what lies at the heart of your own inner being – the identity and beliefs that inform your behavior patterns (‘more awareness’).
In team development we look at what guides the team and holds it together, and what inspires individual team members in their actions. What are the factors that promote team bonding? We consider team building to be successful if “the self transcends the individual to become part of something bigger, but without being lost” (‘greater alignment’).
The third layer of development addresses the driving force behind both the ‘I’ and the ‘We’: leadership. Part of this journey involves establishing a clear understanding of the difference between leadership, which focuses on the ‘I’ and ‘We’, and management which focuses on the ‘It’. To transform is to develop a system holistically, inside-out. Only after we have worked on ‘I’ and ‘We’ can we achieve changes at the ‘It’ level which are truly effective and in harmony with the organization’s objectives as a whole (‘better results’).
Creative communities based on shared values
Fundamentally, all organizations are based on an idea which is as old as mankind itself – the idea of community. A community is the sum of all the shared beliefs, values and behavior patterns of the individuals who form it, as well as their personalities, views, actions and endeavors.
As an important part of the transformation process we will assist you in fostering creative, self-aware communities with shared goals and values and a shared sense of direction.
We bring together expertise in economics, psychology and philosophy to form the basis for our well-founded procedural know-how and proven models and tools which empower managers to develop their transformation and leadership skills in a focused and constructive way. Our professional background in psychology has a focus on behavioral therapy, motivational psychology, sport psychology, depth psychology and systemic psychology.