You’ve been wanting to make some changes in your business or organization. Better programs, more profits, increased staff
engagement. But things haven’t shifted the way you had hoped.
There are two types of inputs to use when you want things to change.
Transactional inputs are those that focus on building skills or creating new systems: financial management, performance evaluations, program design, strategic planning and the like. These transactional inputs are what most of us think of when we create plans for the future. They are an important part of change and development. But by themselves they’re often not enough.
We’ve all experienced trainings or planning processes that professed to make big changes, but left things pretty much the same. We’ve all been in businesses or organizations where a particular entrenched way of operating or a particular person’s way of working kept things stuck.
Transformational inputs, on the other hand, help us change how we think, behave, and envision the future. They seek to create a
“critical perceptual shift” that moves us to higher levels of motivation and purpose. These activities focus on how we perceive
ourselves, the people around us and our options.
Transformational activities involve identifying life values, envisioning ways to make those values real in what we are doing and
creating new roles for ourselves along the way. It’s critical to get feedback from those around us so we can see what is working and what might need to shift. It can involve developing new awareness and behaviors in areas such as leadership, team-building, inspiring and encouraging others. Transformational inputs help us create a new, improved version of ourselves.
They also take more courage to undertake than transactional activities. They ask us to evolve our self-perception, our notions of what is possible and our ways of interacting with others. They are often the key to a more robust, efficient and fulfilling organization.
So when you are planning your next round of growth or change, consider building into your plan both transactional and