This organizational leadership (OL) white paper is the first in a series on the Arts of Transformation, essentials of how-to in our practice of change and transformation. CCL has been a primary pioneer in the practice of change leadership, reforming traditional change methods to be consciously driven through the senior leadership’s culture, beliefs, and practices. Our Organizational Leadership Solutions group is also the principle innovator in the new field of leadership strategy.

Our organizational leadership point of view uncovers how consciously and collaboratively building your organization’s core capabilities to meet change challenges, requires developing the ability to lead the human side of change initiatives AND manage the operationalization of structural changes throughout the organization. It is a both/and process which ultimately leads to a “change-capable” leadership culture of people aligned to adapt and thrive through endless complex challenges of change, and respond to and implement emerging strategies.

Introduction

In our groups, organizations, and communities, we talk about change.

We initiate change.

We respond to change.

We resist change.

Change is a loaded word.

Change is—almost always—tough.

The beliefs, assumptions, and habits behind how things are done today can be difficult to see and understand. Adapting to change involves some shift in these patterns. Change leadership is about making those shifts. It requires us to have a clear understanding of what is changing and why, and to address barriers to change within society, organizations, groups, or individuals.

While change management takes care of the external aspects of change (the science of projects, communications, and deliverables), change leadership looks after the internal arts of change (the beliefs, vision and imagination that drive motivation and inspiration). In order to balance the technical aspects of change with our human requirements to participate, these arts are needed to achieve the deep dialogue of discovery and learning, collaborative, aligned work across the value chain, and the space and time/headroom to expand, experiment, and grow capability.

The how-to of change leadership—the arts of transformation—are the missing links in most, traditional change-management efforts, but they offer a reliable, unusual way to boost the probability of success.

Leaders and change agents in organizations have a particular challenge of navigating their personal experience of change while, at the same time, making it happen. They are in roles where they must effectively manage the successful implementation of new strategy, structures, systems, or processes and lead others through the ongoing realities of change and transition.

CCL defines leadership in terms of three essential outcomes that take place in the leadership culture’s beliefs and practices—Direction, Alignment, and Commitment (DAC)—and we make the case that, collectively, we need new mindsets, skillsets, and toolsets to address the ongoing, complex, interdependent nature of change.

We could write volumes about that single sentence, but this paper is about just one, simple but powerful art of transformation called mediated dialogue that can help you see and lead change in new ways.

Mediated dialogue uses thought-provoking, tangible images—visual objects, to facilitate reflective, insightful conversation—and change the way we talk about change.

Download White Paper

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