The Truth About 'Transformation'

PMI Southern Alberta Chapter

Mike Griffiths is a consultant and trainer who help organizations improve performance through shared leadership, agility and (un)common sense. He maintains the blog LeadingAnswers.com.

Transformations are flavor of the month. It is no longer enough to launch “initiatives,” “programs” or “projects” to undertake work. Instead, we launch agile transformations, digital transformations and productization transformations. They sound more revolutionary, more dramatic and further reaching. Our organizations will emerge reborn, uniquely positioned to compete in a new world of opportunities and growth. Like a larva transforming into a butterfly, we can now fly!

Well, that’s the idea, and the promise of the consulting companies that sell transformation services. However, what really happens? Can the average organization actually become a disruptive leader just by adopting the structures, tools and processes from the real disruptive leaders? Or, is it like buying the same shoes as our basketball heroes wear hoping they will transform us into slam-dunking superstars? The reality is somewhere between these extremes. Any company can improve, but we should not expect to become something we are not.

Let’s look at some of the popular transformation services on sale and examine the promise and truths they hold.

Agile Transformations

The goal: Agile transformations move organizations from working with traditional project management approaches to using agile approaches. They also seek to change the way organizations are …

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