Rate This Resource


From What is Transformation, and Why Is It So Hard to Manage?

"Transformation, however, is far more challenging for two distinct reasons. First, the future state is unknown when you begin, and is determined through trial and error as new information is gathered. This makes it impossible to “manage” transformation with pre-determined, time-bound and linear project plans. You can have an over-arching change strategy, but the actual change process literally must “emerge” as you go. This means that your executives, managers and frontline workers alike must operate in the unknown—that scary, unpredictable place where stress skyrockets and emotions run high.

Second, the future state is so radically different than the current state that the people and culture must change to implement it successfully. New mindsets and behaviors are required. In fact, often leaders and workers must shift their worldviews to even invent the required new future, let alone operate it effectively.

Without these “inner” shifts of mindset and culture, the “external” implementation of new structures, systems, processes or technology do not produce their intended ROI. For example, many large IT implementations fail because they require a mindset and culture change that does not occur, i.e., the new systems require people to share information across strongly held boundaries or put the needs of the enterprise over their own turf agendas. Without these changes in attitude and behavior, people do not use the technology as designed and the change fails to deliver its ROI.

Because transformation impacts people so personally, you must get them involved in it to garner their support; and the earlier the better! "


  1. Abstract, The Asbury Journal, 2012 How does theology and theoryinfonn evangelical international development initiatives? The present article answers this question by reviewing the creation and growth of the international development industry, by outlining the dominant theory in evangelical...
  2. Transformational engagements and projects have the potential to completely change the fortunes of countries, which is why they are a critical pillar of the World Bank Group's strategy. However, it is inherently difficult to design for transformation, or even to measure it in hindsight. To this...
  3. 2015-11-03
  4. 2011-12-01 In this revised and updated edition of a modern classic, Bryant Myers shows how Christian mission can contribute to dismantling poverty and social evil. Integrating the best principles and practice of the international development community, the thinking and experience of Christian...
  5. Transformation involves fundamental change, which in the context of sustainability, requires radical, systemic shifts in values and beliefs, patterns of social behavior, and multilevel governance and management regimes (Olssonet al.2014). Transformation has been described as a process with three...
  6. Abstract, Ecology and Society, 2016 In 2014, the Third International Conference on the resilience of social-ecological systems chose the theme “resilience and development: mobilizing for transformation.” The conference aimed specifically at fostering an encounter between the experiences and...
  7. Paul Hawkencame to Portland, Oregon, to deliver a “direct, naked, taut, honest, passionate, lean, shivering, startling, and graceful” commencement address at the University of Portland (pdf). “Civilization needs a new operating system,” he said, “you are the programmers, and we need it within a...