A change is a rearrangement of existing elements in a system with no fundamental shift in who the system is (identity) or what is able to do (capability). This often referred to as horizontal development – development within an existing level.

Green butterfly

A transformation is a step change in the identity and capability of a living system to whole other level. This is often referred to as vertical development. Evolution teaches us that the possibility for the step change was inherent in the existing identity of the living system; however, in the case of social organizations of intelligent agents, i.e. human beings, to have this latent possibility emerge and become real requires extraordinary leadership and extraordinary actions to bring it forth. The transformed system will produce results that were deemed impossible prior to the transformation.

Many organizations change. Few transform. Of those that do transform, few are able to sustain the transformation. Being transformative is the embodiment of the ability to cause and sustain transformation in oneself and others. A transformative organization is one that evolves its members, itself and its social environments on an ongoing basis as an intrinsic aspect of its functioning. It is an inherently innovative organization, one that honors its members and it is a highly resilient and successful enterprise that consistently takes in more energy than it expends.

The Transformatives exist to develop theory, practices, and programs to enable organizational leaders and other organizational professionals to create and run transformative organizations.