Much has been written about transformational change, to the extent that it is sometimes used synonymously with the phrase “organizational change”. However, there are various types and extents of change, and transformational change is but one of them. See Major Types of Organizational Change.
Organizational transformation is a type of organizational change that involves a radical, fundamental change, rather than an incremental change. An example of transformational change might be changing an organization’s structure and culture from the traditional top-down, hierarchical structure to a large amount of self-directing teams.
Another example might be Business Process Re-engineering, which tries to take apart (at least on paper, at first) the major parts and processes of the organization and then put them back together in a more optimal fashion. Transformational change is sometimes referred to as quantum change.
Organizations decide to transform how they are structured and behave usually because of a significant change outside and/or inside of the organization, for example, major changes in the market outside the organization or in the top-level’s leadership style and priorities.
In contrast, examples of incremental — not fundamental and radical — change might include continuous improvement as a quality management process or implementation of new computer system to increase efficiencies. Many times, organizations experience incremental change and its leaders do not recognize that change as a type of organizational change.
- Overview of the Field of Organization Development
- Competencies and Resources for Organizational Change Agents
- Using Real-Time Strategic Change
- Whole Field Assessment And The Change Readiness Checklist
- Guidelines and Resources for Whole Systems Change in Organizations
- Large-Group Interventions
Suggested Additional Readings
To truly grasp the role and context of transformational change, it is important to understand the broader context and purpose of organizational change, including other types of change, roles during change, and basic guidelines for guiding change. See Guidelines, Methods and Resources for Organizational Change Agents
To lead transformational change, leaders must have a transformational mindset. See Transformational Leadership
Learn More in the Library’s Blogs Related to Organizational Transformation
In addition to the articles on this current page, see the following blogs which have posts related to Organizational Transformation. Scan down the blog’s page to see various posts. Also see the section “Recent Blog Posts” in the sidebar of the blog or click on “next” near the bottom of a post in the blog.
For the Category of Organizational Development:
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