CHANGE & The Difference Between Change and Transformation

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: “Transformation and change are two different things. Change involves adjusting programs, people and tactics. While transformation involves reinventing the entire organization. Therefore transformation involves guiding an organizational culture into a new and healthier culture. Many leaders fail because they don’t recognize the difference and the different tools (below) required for each.

Change involves, ‘making the business case, building a coalition of leaders, getting early results, engaging stakeholders, executing with discipline’ and monitoring/adjusting results’ (p. 2-3)…

‘Transformation is another animal altogether. Unlike change management, it doesn’t focus on a few discrete, well-defined shifts, but rather on a portfolio of initiatives, which are interdependent or intersecting. More importantly the overall goal of transformation is not just executed to find change but to reinvent the organization and discover a new or revised business model based on a vision for the future. It’s much more unpredictable, iterative, and experimental. It entails much higher risk. And even if successful change management leads to the execution of certain initiatives within a transformation portfolio, the overall transformation could still fail’ (p. 3).

Transformation therefore involves, ‘flexible and dynamic coordination of resources, stronger collaboration across boundaries, and communication in the midst of uncertainty’ (p. 4).

I have made the case in the ‘Strategic Management’ chapter of the Wright and Smith (eds.) book, The Church Leaders’ MBA’ (Ohio Christian Univ. Press, 2009) that transforming churches means:

  1. Getting multiple cultures to work together
  2. In one church
  3. To reach and unite multiple community cultures.

This creates a healthy church with multiple sub-congregations respecting one another and working together for greater impact (steps to this can be found in Whitesel, ‘The Healthy Church,’ Wesleyan Publishing House, 2012).

Thus church transformation brings the Good News to a larger segment of the community – while also reconciling/uniting disparate community cultures.

For more on the important difference between change and transformation read this Harvard Business Review article.”

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“An evaluation of conceptual weaknesses in transformational and charismatic leadership theories,” by Gary Yukl, The Leadership Quarterly, Summer 1999, Vol.10(2):285–305, doi:10.1016/S1048-9843(99)00013-2

Yukl (1994) summarizes (TM):[4]

  1. Develop a challenging and attractive vision, together with the employees.
  2. Tie the vision to a strategy for its achievement.
  3. Develop the vision, specify and translate it to actions.
  4. Express confidence, decisiveness and optimism about the vision and its implementation.
  5. Realize the vision through small planned steps and small successes in the path for its full implementation.

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AUTOCRATIC LEADERSHIP & Why Collaborate Leadership is Replacing It #HarvardBusinessReview

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: “Directive or autocratic leadership is shown in this research to be less effective today than a teambuilding, collaborative approach to leadership. The church leadership model, where the senior pastor makes most of the major decisions and is viewed as the expert, is according to this article less effective. See several charts that depict how today leaders value ‘discovery, collaboration, acting as an equals’.”

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HUMILITY & Rooting Out Hubris, Before a Fall #HarvardBusinessReview

Summary by Dr. Whitesel: “Tough love, humility and servant leadership may be the keys to preventing organizational hubris.”

Rooting Out Hubris, Before a Fall
by Steven Berglas, Harvard Business Review,

Steven Bergllas states: “Kenneth Lay, the former CEO of Enron, is a good example of executive hubris. Long before the company imploded, Lay lauded his company for being a ‘new economy’ corporation ‘before it became cool to be one…’ What is tragic about Lay’s self-destruction and the Enron collapse — apart from the number of lives ruined by it — is … he let his pride get in the way of reason, causing devastation as a result. Unable to watch his pride and joy fail, and unwilling to make the hard decisions that might have saved a diminished version of it, he decided to cook the books – and in so doing, his business’s goose.

Is there ever a way to deflate hubris while it’s still inflating, before the bubble disastrously bursts?  A few structural modifications of your corporate zeitgeist – or clarifications of principles you assumed were clear and accepted — along with some well-placed and properly-timed shots of tough love should do the trick…

Chief among the aspects of your corporate culture that you must imbue in all employees –but particularly the stars who are most vulnerable to hubris— is the virtue of humility…

Even if you do so, however, you cannot ensure that one of your ‘big hitters’ won’t make a public display of himself following a major success. This is the time for tough love: Let him know in stern terms that his celebratory antics are not becoming. Remind him that most people enjoy rooting for underdogs, dark horses, and long shots – especially when they’re competing against top dogs.  (Avis Corporation’s “We’re #2!” ad campaign capitalized on just this feeling.) It’s human nature to enjoy the sight of an idol falling off a pedestal… This is why humble pie should be the only dessert served in the corporate cafeteria …”

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LEADERSHIP & Servanthood

Leading as a servant and how to stop doing the things you’re not good at

by Sandi Krakowwski, Entrepreneur Magazine, 2/4/14

“We live in a world where the chase for power is increasing. Someone is always getting thrown under the bus so another person can get ahead. The “top of the food chain” philosophy that has infected our workforce and leadership has thrived on the accumulation of power and practices to get ahead.

Yet when all is said and done, have we really gotten ahead by this change?

There is a better way. It’s called Servant Leadership, and it can be applied in workplaces and homes. It is an act of faith, best defined by coming alongside others, leading by example and helping the people around and under you. Using it allows you to go further in all areas of life, rather than pursuing positional leadership that dominates and dictates your employees…”

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