It is often a misconception that the terms 'change' and 'transformation' are interchangeable. However, the two are not the same.
The critical differences are the levels of complexity and risk profiles. Change management involves finite initiatives to change ways of working, the programmes are discrete and able to be well defined. The road is clear, the route is mapped out.
Transformation aims for a reinvention of the organisation, focused on a future purpose or vision. Here, the outcome is clear but the choice of roads to take are many. It includes the implementation of a portfolio of initiatives, each which are interdependent and unpredictable. It has a much higher risk profile and the capabilities of leadership to deliver such a programme are vastly different to those needed for a finite, structured change management approach.
Where does this fit with your organisation? Identifying the type of change or transformation then helps you to implement the right approach to lead to a successful delivery.
Find out more about how we can help with complex organisational change here.
Transformation is another animal altogether. Unlike change management, it doesn’t focus on a few discrete, well-defined shifts, but rather on a portfolio of initiatives, which are interdependent or intersecting. More importantly, the overall goal of transformation is not just to execute a defined change — but to reinvent the organization and discover a new or revised business model based on a vision for the future. It’s much more unpredictable, iterative, and experimental. It entails much higher risk. And even if successful change management leads to the execution of certain initiatives within the transformation portfolio, the overall transformation could still fail.