Phases of Transformation

In our transformation philosophy we follow the logic of Darwin, and the idea that “responsiveness” is the key to survival: “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, but the most responsive to change.”

The same applies for organisations; that “responsiveness” – which is synonymous with the ability to transform – is one of the most important capabilities needed to not only to survive in a dynamic environment but also to succeed. As we understand it, transformation management is more than human change management, transformation management should affect the whole organisation. Therefore we have developed a framework for helping organisations with transformation processes. This can be summed up with four easy words representing two phases:  
Think – Design – Plan – Do. Think & Design embodies the phase of operationalisation of transformation, Plan & Do stands for the phase of implementation. 

Transformation describes every change of an object from state A to state B. In our illustration, the element water changes from an ice cube to a liquid. In this case, the transformation was triggered by a changed basic condition, namely an increase in temperature, which made the ice cube melt. This may happen randomly or intentionally.
Transformation influences every organisation – permanently. Intentional organisational growth is an example. Ideally, the organisation itselt decides how it wants to transform. However, an organisation may be transformed unintentionally without any effort on its part, for instance if market changes massively and the organisation does not react appropriately. As a consequence, the organisation may be pushed out of the market and disappears. 

Therefore we are convinced that managing transformations intentionally and in a goal-oriented way is one of the most important tasks of an organisation.

In order to clarify the transformation journey, we always define the goal of the transformation and decide on a suitable strategy with our customers in the first step. Usually the result is a transformation program that has to be implemented. 
By subsequently breaking down the transformation program into projects and initiatives, the transformation goal advances. If projects and initiatives are implemented properly; the transformation result shows how accurately the transformation goal was accomplished.
A bit too abstract? No problem, we explain in more detail in the next box.
How to do this exactly? In the first stage we mentioned the operationalisation of the transformation goal that results in programs for instance. This stage has two steps – Thinking and Designing. Thinking is the most important prerequisite to find the right way of transformation. This may be an analysis of the organisation’s condition, the breaking down of goals, or the choise of appropriate strategies. This ties up to the next step “Design”. Transformation Design becomes concrete when programs are defined and become liable by allocation responsibilities and resources. 
In the second stage, implementation is determined by the rhythm namely provided by Planning and Doing. In the Planning step details become crucial: Initiatives will be deallocated and concretised in terms of projects, tasks will be distributed and teams are assigned. 
Afterwards, the Doing is essential – executing activities and documenting and anchoring of results.
Do the results and the transformation goal match? Yes? Perfect! No? Then you have to figure out where or what went wrong.  We will be glad to help you!

You have questions or comments to our transformation phases?