Change vs Transformation: The not so subtle difference

Updated: Jan 23


The difference between change and transformation can never be illustrated as perfectly as the change of guard in our nation’s capital this week. Change is just that, a shift from A to B or one to another or from here to there. It can involve major cultural shifts like all language, the entirety of the organization’s business, or the entire value system on which the foundation of the company rests. Change is tactical, focuses on methods and processes (not people) and has a high external influence. Transformation, on the other hand prescribes vision rather than subscribing to a tactically created vision. Transformation doesn't just lean into the future at hand, NO NO NO. It CREATES the future. It is driven by strategy, focuses on mindset and belief and has minimal external influence. Transformation comes from within, not without. It takes into account the action of changing, the welcome acceptance and indulgence in a new way of being. Change might be necessitated and in many cases it is demanded. But, transformation is a choice.


At IAAW, we support all size organizations in not just instituting change, but in formulating the infrastructure and resources towards sustainable transformative power within the greatest asset base of any group, its workforce. NEVER before in our lifetime’s has it become so instrumental to transform behaviors, attitudes, and purpose for all to find meaning. To return to to a sense of community the consciousness of an organization must listen, collaborate, integrate, show trust and receive accountability in the autonomy of its loyal stakeholders.


In the vein of, if you love something you must let it go for it to return of its own volition. How could you ever trust it if not? If you tactically possess, demand, instruct, micromanage, and all in inconsistent manic ways, the potential for commitment from your employees will dwindle to nothing. Desperation workforce stays because they need a paycheck and your ROI will show a pattern of destabilization rapidly.


I ask simply, can you and your staff define your culture and values in 4-10 words or phrases? Remote work, Covid, fears, narrative, mergers, layoffs, furloughs - it’s all eroded trust and autonomy. Don’t continue white knuckling it with your most important assets. Culture building and employee morale is now more important than ever. If you can’t define your culture in a few phrases, call us for a no-cost, confidential assessment. If nothing else, we are a confidential place to lay down your sword and finally feel safe talking about how rocky things have been this past year.


If we’ve learned nothing else this year it’s that life’s too short to be unhappy, at work and in life. We’d love to work with you to not just change behaviors like toxicity and leadership malfunction but to truly transform them to create the kind of high profit organization everyone wants to work for and invest in. Remember, change is a directive. Transformation is a choice. Inspired Action At Work's mission is to change workplace culture to transform organizations. Call us to start the discussion about your culture today.