Transformation is not an isometry!

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Do you remember your physics?

I do!

Thanks to my highly “numerical-obsessed” provincial high school teacher in a laidback humble small town in Rajasthan.

I still remember the definition of Isometric Transformation.

An isometric transformation is a transformation that preserves the distances and angles between a pre-image and its image.

Put simply, in an isometric transformation the image is exactly the same size and shape as its pre-image.

Today, while dealing with organizational transformation in various enterprises, I have resonated that simple statement again and again “transformation is not an isometry”.

Transformation does not mean just “doing things differently”. The process is much deeper, it means “becoming different”. It demands metamorphosis of old patterns. A transformation program is a radical, meticulously commissioned process, that builds an organization’s capabilities to change, and ensures its alacrity towards looming business challenges.

It is actually a new paradigm scenario. Organizational transformation positions an enterprise to a new direction and revitalizes it to higher orbits of readiness.

Programmed change is not an impromptu launch of some random “feel-good” initiatives. All episodic, frivolous, and patchy initiatives when introduced without a well-designed program, soon get obliterated after the first burst of inevitable consequences.

Organizational transformation is a calibrated and sensitive exercise.

Most transformative exercises, if introduced without apposite coping mechanisms, invariably incite a patterned disorder and conflict within the organization. It often inflames aggressive resistance and antipathy.

Surprisingly, the initial resistance usually comes from the functional heads. Typically, demeaning the change plans and bellowing for the attention and self-importance. The entire experience shakes-away people’s “comfort zones” and hence, unavoidably inflicts some sort of anxiety, uncertainty or sheer feeling of misplaced controls. Customarily, people want to do things in the old-way.

Resistance to change is an emotional reaction. It is a state of mind, a mental predisposition. Contrary to conventional conclusions, the resistance is not because of the proposed change, rather resistance is “within the person” for “being changed”. Therefore, appreciating the emotive roots of such reactions can greatly help an organization to counterbalance the cataleptic resistive blocks.

Transformation is “renaissance” of organizational culture.

It is unfortunate that a lot of organizational time goes in trying to detach people from past patterns of behavior. It is delicately challenging because all subsystems of the organization are highly interlinked. A systematic introduction of step by step constructive initiatives will eventually engage people to embark upon the proposed path that we hope will lead to higher organizational awareness.

Change cannot be simply imposed. It requires terrific endurance. A change leader’s failure to recognize people sensitivities becomes the cradle for disengagement in the organization. One has to be ready to manage the “unexpected hostilities” emerging from nowhere.

In my personal experiences, ever so often, initial success goes unrecognized.  A conscious re-norming the way people “think-believe-and act” is highly involved process. It takes time.

For a transformative consultant, it is a tough job to make people to internalize the purpose for the change. For achieving “deeper engagement” of people, simplifying planned initiatives is the only option.

Business circumstances will never be “just right” for you! You have to make them right!

Remember Henry Ford: “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”

So…Yes…Transformation is not an isometry!

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