Organizational Transformation Begins with Pixie Dust
Some organizations undergo radical, positive transformations in ways that are nothing short of magical. Examples abound. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation started from nothing (albeit a well-resourced nothing), and quickly grew to be one of the top three global health donors on the planet - governments included. Consider the Apple story, and their similarly garage-born brethren and current day monster-tech, Google - from thin air they have sprung! But here’s the glitch. This list of recent dazzling tech success stories is long, so in our face and distracting, that we’ve forgotten about all the amazing transformations that have happened in years gone by. (Pop quiz: do you know the transformational story of Dr. Lister??) We also never consider how all of these amazing transformations are connected, and what they have in common. And that’s just a shame!!
So welcome to the newly launched ODCF blog on transformation, organizational and otherwise. In the series of posts that will follow every Monday and Wednesday from here to eternity (but not beyond), we will set out this remarkable history of organizational transformation, and make the case that there’s a pattern here. There’s something to learn about how transformation works, and how you can bring it to your organization – or just yourself!
But hang on a minute. What we need to focus on first, and right now, is the fact that the best thing to help us understand this stunning parade of transformational success over the centuries is….wait for it… pixie dust. Yup.
Let’s be clear, I speak not of the pixie dust that Tinker Bell sprinkled while hovering in space, creating a shower of sparks resulting in a magical transformation from beast to prince, from pumpkin to Porsche. It’s the pixie dust of organizational transformation – just as magical, nearly as ephemeral, but imminently more observable to the well-trained eye.
Pixie dust launches a transformational journey with insight. It is an insight that looks past the present, around the corner and up the hill, to a clear vision of what is possible. More precisely, it is a vision of what should be - in spite of how things are now. It inspires. It emboldens. It aligns the soldiers of change and calls them to action. But it doesn’t stop there. This pixie dust of organizational transformation is, at its heart, an understanding. It is an understanding of a specific kind of greatness that is not only possible, but that is the most sensible and logical outcome of a transformational process that is destined to be. For you. For your organization. Heck, for the world.
To that end, here are a few quick examples of “pixie dust” insights that were the basis for A-List, world changing transformational change.
· “We shall never surrender.” – Winston Churchill, 1941
· “By the end of the decade, we will put a man on the moon.” – John F. Kennedy, 1962
· “A computer on every desk and in every home.” – Bill Gates, 1980
So now ask yourself – does your organization’s “strategic plan” have that pixie dust insight to see around corners? Does it embolden? Align? Inspire? If your organization is like most, the honest answer to that question is most definitely no (!). “Strategic” plans are dust magnets, produced after lunch by groggy participants in a small conference room, squirming in uncomfortable chairs and distracted by thoughts of the long commute home. We can do better. Much better.
It’s time to start thinking about your path to transformational change.
See you on Wednesday.