Of course it’s not THAT type of transformer.
#NZLead is the best HR/Work related twitter chat on the planet that I don’t join in with as much as I used to due to other things occupying my time.
Yet today I jumped on half way through and it was about transformational thinking and doing in HR.
So I called my own business People and Transformational HR as it translates to PTHR and is also my initials.
I have described my frame of reference as transformational to distinguish my practice field from transactional. As in I don’t do employment law or payroll type HR. NOT an attempt to over glamourise what I do, just to distinguish it. Distinct but related. I am totally for HR as a joined up profession boosting work success for all, so I know you cannot truly transform without being able to transact too.
So what IS transformational thinking and doing? Especially in an HR profession not known for its ground breaking transformative qualities.
Well I am off to Glasgow to “do” some transformational “stuff”.
It - transformation - starts with you.
Your own self. You may be very content and successful by not transforming yourself. Which may well be fine. You don’t need a reformation or a rebellion or any transforming. Adaptation to externally driven change maybe. Nothing stands still. So there is no static.
But transformation comes from this.
The feeling there is MORE to you than currently.
A sense of dissatisfaction over you existing in a gentle, safe and easy way.
A sense you were meant for something bigger/better/sharper.
An urge inside that you have things you want to explore about you and the dent you can make in the universe.
So if you want to transform - go ahead. Do it. In whatever shape or scale you choose. Yes some circumstances can prevail but stories of superhuman endeavour are not just for adrenalin junkies or extreme sportsfolk. People like you transform all the time.
When you DO want to transform my experience is that you will probably find a cause that you also want to transform as a result.
About the only thing you might want to avoid is the weather. Not sure we can transform that or forecasting.
In a tweet today I said “there’s no starting pistol nor finish line for transformation”. Although there is a move from someone previously NOT transforming. Transformation rarely happens to / from all of us at the same time.
Even Perestroika/Glasnost and the break up of the former Soviet Union happened and transformed people at different times. As did Renaissance art. And so on.
Movements is a much used and oft derided word as it implies something akin to a cult. Yet transformation on a scaled basis sometimes needs a brand, a gang, a movement.
Malcolm Gladwell’s David & Goliath book talks of the impressionist painters who - wait for it - became a movement and did so to put on their own exhibitions when the conventional galleries wouldn’t display their works in prominent positions.
Mods, Rockers, Punks, Ravers. All movements. Yes some dissipate yet many persist.
Engage for Success - whatever you think of it - is a movement that has at least got people we need talking about and noticing engaged people - listened to, supported, enabled people - do great things at work.
So transformation sometimes needs a movement.
Back to you. Once you have decided to transform yourself, and maybe as a part of that ally yourself to a bigger cause to also transform then the fun begins.
Or not sometimes.
Transformation has had many false dawns. Over labelled change programmes built on sand. Poorly scoped business redirections dropping profit/impact clangers.
So we do sometimes fear transformation for it breaks “the devil we know” into a worse set of demons.
But if we never transformed we would still employ children in factories and use ineffective snake-oil medicines.
It is now a subscribed theory that you actually gain by transforming yourself before others do it to you. Disruptive Innovation is what Clay Christensen calls it.
So to transform is now considered to be something of a move to not only improve but to sustain, to future proof and just do better.
Things seem to get very dated, tired, ineffective and broken quickly so transformational approaches seem to be more needed than before.
It used to be that maybe every generation saw transformation. Now it seems every year something is transformed. Change is the new norm and other clichés apply.
So Glasgow then. What am I transforming?
Well I am helping people understand how THEY might like or need to transform. To garner more success.
And then what professional areas they might like to throw their intellectual, emotional and spiritual hat in the ring to transform.
Or they could dismiss me as a transformation junkie and leave the transformation to me and others like me.
Sooner or later though, the robots in disguise will get you.
Transformation comes a calling and I think I’d rather be doing it than allowing everyone else to do it TO me.
Can you transform? How will you transform? What will you transform?
Transform for good. For better. For us all.