Change Implementation Techniques for Laying a Foundation for New Ways

Technique 1.55 Applying the Principles of Transformation (version 1)

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The 12 principles of transformation are self‐awareness, spontaneity, vision and value‐led, holism, compassion, celebrate diversity, field independence, asking "why"?, reframing, the positive use of adversity, humility and sense of vocation.

After reading the explanation of the 12 principles of transformation , answer "yes" or "no" to the questions on each principles; your answers will form a basis to understanding and influencing the motivation and dynamic of the desired cultural shift:

1 Self‐awareness

To become a leader, the first thing you need to understand is yourself. Paradoxically, we live in a self‐obsessed culture which allows little time for reflection/self‐awareness/self‐knowledge. Our focus is outward on events and problems in the world. We need to go beyond restrictions imposed by our mere egos and actively seek personal integrity, ie to act in accordance with our inner self. Self‐awareness means that we know what we believe it, what we value, and what deeply motivates us. This allows us to create or recreate ourselves continually and enables us to hear the voice of conscience and responsibility

Self‐awareness is the keystone of emotional intelligence, ie knowing your deepest values and purpose

Self‐awareness check

Do you have much sense of inner life?

At the end of the day, do you reflect on the day's events and experiences?

Do you have any sense of a deeper presence within you?

Are you comfortable with silence?

Can you confront uncomfortable truths about yourself?

2 Spontaneity

Spontaneity is linked with the same Latin root as the words "response" and "responsibility". It means leaving behind baggage of past conditioning, habit, prejudice, fear, needing to maintain control or being unnecessarily polite. It means having the courage to put yourself in the moment. Spontaneity is a necessary pre‐condition for playfulness, improvisation, trial‐and‐error learning and creativity.

Too often we take refuge in what we already know, what we have already learned, and the conditional habits of thought

"...we get trapped in our minds' own personal paradigms ‐ dogmas, prejudices, ideologies to which we subscribe, abstractions and models, assumptions we hold, or simply thinking that feels comfortable and familiar..."


"...requires that we be willing to enter our discomfort zone. This can bring us face‐to‐face with fear. Fear is usually the greatest barrier to achieving spontaneity. Fear of ridicule, fear of judgment or punishment, and fear of showing our own vulnerability.To be spontaneous, I must have the courage to suspend my defences and to own both my vulnerability and my authenticity.......a radical opening to life's possibilities and an extended readiness to become the person who I really am. True spontaneity is not impulsiveness or merely acting on a whim of the moment......true spontaneity is the freshness of the child honed by the wisdom, strength and experience of the adult......we......need to expose ourselves to unfamiliar situations and people, and note our responses. Review each day at the end by asking yourself. What missed opportunities did it contain? Why did I not speak my mind? Why did I not show my true emotions? Why did I not let myself go with enthusiasm or passion? What stopped me? Do I believe in myself?..."

Danah Zohar et al, 2004

Spontaneity check

Do you follow your gut instincts, even it means taking risks?

Do you allow yourself to be open and vulnerable with others?

Do you enjoy talking to and playing with young children?

Do you ever feel an ecstatic sense that the whole of reality or existence is present in you now, "in this moment"?

Do you feel that an underlying sense of direction or inner compass guides you?

3 Vision and value‐led

Visions are powerful, such as Martin Luther King Jr's "I have a Dream" speech, Mahatma Gandhi leading India to independence and Nelson Mandela ending apartheid in South Africa. Examples in the organisational world include Merck Pharmaceutical's gift of a cure for river blindness to the Third World, Henry Ford's vision of bringing transport to the common man, and Coca‐Cola's construction of health clinics throughout rural China and South‐east Asia.

"...visions give rise to new realities for raising human motivation. But visions themselves are based on deep values. The founder of Merck valued health and bringing health to people, Martin Luther King Jr valued equality and human dignity.....our deepest values define us as the human beings that we are and lay the foundations for the kinds of organisations and societies that will bring out the best of human potential..."

Danah Zohar et al, 2004

Values can fall into one of three areas, ie personal, interpersonal and transpersonal. The basis to start from is

"...Always act in such a way that it would be all right if everyone acted that way..."

Immanuel Kant as quoted by Danah Zohar et al, 2004

Vision and values check

Are you motivated by ideals like helping others or serving some higher cause?

Do you live by your ideals?

Do you feel called upon "to do the extra mile" to bring excellence to whatever you do?

Do you feel inspired by great leaders or public figures, historical or contemporary?

Do you reflect on questions like the meaning of life, the purpose of your life, the meaning behind your work or relationships?

4 Holism

Holism is the science of defining the quality of both quantum and complex adaptive self‐organising systems. In physical holism, it is the relationship between things that defines their reality. The parts cannot be broken down or separate parts isolated without losing something vital. It involves seeing larger patterns and relationships

" ability to see the internal functioning connections between things, the overlaps and influences. It is the ability to look at a problem from every angle......holism gives us the ability to see the infinite within the finite. And it gives us access to the deeper currents and patterns of a problem or situation. It taps into possibilities......Holistic people rely heavily on intuition..."

Danah Zohar et al, 2004

Holism check

. Do you tend to look for relationships between apparently different things?

. Do you look for a wider context into which you can put problems or events?

. Do you have a sense that events or problems that come to your attention are interconnected?

. Do you have experiences of anticipating or knowing the unspoken thoughts of others, or sense a flow of energy coming from other people?

. Do you ever have a sense of everything being permeated by infinite love, infinite clarity or infinite presence?

5 Compassion

"...It is knowing what it is like to walk in my neighbour's shoes......even if my views are alien or opposite to my own......there but for the grace of God go I..."

Danah Zohar et al, 2004

Compassion does not mean pity; rather, it is having empathy for another's position

Compassion check

. Do you feel the feelings of others? Their pain? Their joy?

. Have you ever felt a universal sense of gentleness or nurturing love?

. Would you agree with the statement, "I am my brother's keeper because my brother is myself"?

. Have you ever felt a sense of reverence or awe for all of existence?

. Can you empathise with pain, suffering, or anger of people who radically disagree with you, or who may even be a threat to you?

6 Celebrate diversity

"...genuine diversity least highly valuing other people and conflicting opinions for their differences rather than despite those differences. It means seeing differences as opportunity......truth is multifaceted......there is no one best way.....requires that I be somewhat humble about the importance of my own opinion......I must cultivate a deep trust that truth will emerge from conflict, or from a situation's self‐organising potential, and must give up the need for total control..."

Danah Zohar et al, 2004

Homogeneity is very stable but slow to adapt; too much diversity can cause dissent and tear systems apart. Thus, there is a need for a critical balance between homogeneity and diversity.

Diversity check

. Do you relate easily to people who are different from yourself?

. At a party, do you reach out to meet new people rather than chatting to those you already know?

. Do you feel there is more than one way to solve a problem or reach a goal?

. When having a conversation with people you disagree with, can you see their side of the issue?

7 Field independence

Possession of this characteristic means being able to stand against the crowd even if it means isolation and/or makes you unpopular, ie

"...It is to know my own mind and be able to hold my point of view, despite group pressure......More subtly......implies an ability to stand apart from paradigms or habitual patterns of my mind, to see when I am in error or thinking in boxes......The herd is always led by someone who can stand apart from the herd..."

Danah Zohar et al, 2004

Field independence check

. Do you willingly stand by your convictions when all around you disagree?

. Are you willing to be unpopular in a good cause?

. Do you dress to please yourself instead of others?

. Do you enjoy your own company?

. Do you consider carefully and listen to others before going your own way?

8 Asking why?

Active curiosity and a tendency to ask the fundamental question "Why"? are critical to the spirit of endless inquiry in organisations, science, community, etc

"...Heisenberg's famous Uncertainty Principle established that questions......actually create reality. Questions pluck possibilities from the infinite sea of potentiality......and turn them into actualities..."

Danah Zohar et al, 2004

If the organisation is run on fear, there is little tolerance for questions. This will repress the higher motivations of exploration and creativity. Asking why

" accompanied by a tendency to refuse to take anything for granted, questioning the reasons, foundations, or inner workings of everything, and asking if it could be better or different..."

Danah Zohar et al, 2004

Remember: questions can be regarded as subversive as they usually question the status quo; undermine assumptions and prejudices; rock the boat

"...The price of a good question is a willingness to question my own assumptions, values, and methods as well as those of others. This of course requires humility..."

Danah Zohar et al, 2004

"Why" Question check

. Do you try to understand the meaning behind rules, customs and events?

. Are you dissatisfied with first explanations?

. Do you like to glean the thinking behind other people's pronouncements, to understand "where they are coming from"?

. Do you sometimes reflect on cultural or behavioural trends and wonder why they are as they are?

. Do you like to keep up to date with current affairs?

9 Reframing

"...Both rethinking the past and imagining the future are acts of reframing......reframing requires standing back from a situation, suggestion, strategy, or problem and looking for the bigger picture, the wider context..."

Danah Zohar et al, 2004

It requires re‐visiting and re‐examining our own mindsets, assumptions, prejudices so that we are more self‐critical, adventurous and creative

Reframing check

. Are you good at looking at questions from many angles?

. Do you go outside your comfort zone when seeking new experiences?

. Do you "cast your net wide" for information that might be relevant to the problem at hand? That is, do you go outside the box?

. Do you question the value of things being left just as they are?

. Are you good at seeing the big picture?

10 The positive use of adversity

This quality involves learning from mistakes and difficulties

Use of adversity check

. Do you learn from and grow beyond past failures?

. When bad things happen to you, do you find some way to carry on despite them?

. Do you bounce back reasonably quickly from periods of gloom or depression?

. Does the loss of certainties lead you to a deeper faith or vision?

. Do you find some reason to cling to ideals despite all the evil and mess in the world?

11 Humility

"...A sense of humility, or modesty, ......gets us beyond the isolation of and preoccupation with our egos and assumed self‐importance. It opens up the possibility of learning from others and from experience..."

Danah Zohar et al, 2004

Humility check

. Are you happy to recognise that you are but one player in a larger drama?

. If you make a mistake, can you admit it gracefully?

. Do you think that your importance comes from something larger than yourself? That you owe your gifts to a deeper or higher source?

. Do you remain open to suggestions and contributions of others, even if they take you by surprise?

. Do you accept that you have limitations, that there is only so much that you can or should do?

12 Sense of vocation

"...A sense of vocation is the active accompaniment to having a vision. It is the desire and will to make that vision come true..."

Danah Zohar et al, 2004

Sense of vocation check

. Do you feel that you want your life to "make a difference"?

. When someone does you a favour, do you feel you should pass a gift on to the next person?

. Do you feel called upon to repay all the good things that have been given to you in life?

. Do you feel a sense of responsibility to others who have helped you?

. Do you feel a sense of responsibility to others, the community, or the world that goes beyond your official duty or commitments?

. Do you feel your life has a sense of direction that you should follow?


The higher the number of "yes" answers, the higher your SQ (social intelligence) score; a low score means that there is room for improvement in that area

(source: Danah Zohar et al, 2004)


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