Are you fixing or creating?

Does solving your problem require CHANGE or TRANSFORMATION? Both are difficult, but there are critical distinctions leaders often don't realize until it's too late. CHANGE is the right path when a problem is relatively simple and the current system needs only a tune-up. TRANSFORMATION is the right path when problems are “wicked” and a completely new system is required. Mastery begins by choosing the right path.

CHANGE requires you to become familiar with the current situation and to work to make things better, faster, cheaper, or some other “-er” word. Success is judged by efficiencies and economies that are realized at the end of our effort compared with where we started. When we choose change, our future is really a reconditioned or improved version of the past.

TRANSFORMATION involves a break with the past that is traumatic but potentially freeing. In transforming, we design our future and invent ways to bring it into reality. Transformation doesn't describe our future by referencing the past (better, faster, or cheaper); it births a future that is entirely new.

Transformation is the only means by which a man landed on the moon. In 1961, President John F. Kennedy declared, “I believe this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely ...

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