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  • Writer's pictureTia Teamer

Getting to the heart of the matter: Organizational Transformation at its core.




What is organizational transformation?


In assessing outcomes, organizations often think about innovation and less about transformation. But transformation is at the heart of organizational effectiveness.


Innovation refers to creating new products, services, or business models that solve existing problems or meet unmet needs.


Transformation enables organizations to update and evolve both internal practices and external interactions with customers, clients, or partners. 


When considering organizational transformation, many organizations will talk about strategic planning but focus on a specific area of programming or operations. This approach represents the essence of innovation, not transformation. 


When organizations identify a problem area but do not focus on the core issue, which could be misaligned policies, practices, procedures, or even staffing, it places band-aids on critical areas. Effective change requires addressing those core and foundational issues within the structure of the organization.


Instead of placing a band-aid on a problem area, transformation changes foundational and structural issues within an organization to ensure it is operating at its fullest efficiency and effectiveness. 


Organizational transformation changes everything, not one area of operation or another. Transformation begins with an assessment of the overall organization to identify major challenges, then addresses those core issues to better align the functioning with its stated mission, vision, goals, and objectives.


Why is organizational transformation important?


Engaging in organizational transformation excavates root causes and protects organizations from investing time and resources in recurring issues and challenges year after year. 


Organizations should consider the need for transformation over strategic change or innovation. Surface-level change can disguise an organizational structure that is faulty or misaligned with its mission and vision. If this occurs, the mission, vision, and purpose of the organization will continue to go unserved. Innovation goes nowhere, at the expense of time, money, and stakeholder outcomes, because foundational issues have not been addressed. 


Key to all this is a commitment to change, not just processes and procedures but to mindset. Mindset changes when people understand the value they bring to the organization. Essential to organizational transformation is keeping the vision, mission, goals, and objectives of the organization in front of employees. 


Each employee is critical in meeting organizational objectives, or the position wouldn't exist. Every member of the organization must reflect on their role and the part they play in achieving the purpose of the organization. This begins with leaders, who must be held accountable to shift their mindset around functioning as part of a bigger team and moving individuals forward to meet the organization's goals and objectives. 


One way an organization can consider changing employee mindsets is to remind individuals why they chose to work for the organization. 


This process of transformation can begin by answering the following questions: 


  • Have we codified the organization's vision, mission, goals, and objectives? 

  • Have we clearly and correctly identified who we are serving, our stakeholders?

  • Are we aligned in our actions and priorities with the organization's purpose and setting measurable goals to meet expectations? 

  • Is the organization achieving its goals on behalf of our stakeholders?

  • What role do I, as an individual contributor, a team member, or a leader, play in meeting the purpose of the organization I serve? 

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