A Butterfly Is Not a Better Caterpillar

A Butterfly Is Not a Better Caterpillar

The words “change” and “transformation” are regularly used interchangeably. Transformation is often considered a big change.

This conflation—collapsing together of two terms—conceals an enormous, difference-making possibility.

Numerous surveys of senior executives across industries indicate that 60-80% of transformational/change initiatives) fail, do not fully deliver, or sometimes make matters worse. 

Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr, a 19th century French writer, composed this epigram:

“Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.” The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Why? Because changing something does not always get to the underlying issue.

Improvement is an example of change. It is a kind of extension of what has already existed. For example, getting better means better compared to what has been or already exists. So Karr’s epigram asserts that improving is somehow giving us more of the same in a certain way.

What is “transformation”?

Dictionary.com: “…change in form, appearance, nature, or character…” As is generally done, this definition collapses change and transformation. Let’s separate the two:

A change in form and appearance is very different from a change in nature, or character. Changing form or appearance does not get to the root or source. Sometimes reorganization, removing a particular person or team, reengineering, instituting a best practice—can produce incremental improvement (sometimes temporarily, and sometimes can make matters worse). But do these actions get to the root or source of an issue? Likewise, changing yourself as a leader—changing style, technique, strategy, emulating a well-known leader—can yield improvement. But does it fundamentally alter who you are and your power to lead?

Transformation is a different order of things.

Transformation deals with nature or character—of ourselves, our teams, our culture/organization. A synonym is “metamorphosis.” A butterfly is not an improved caterpillar. It is an entirely new creature, with possibilities that a caterpillar could never dream of.

The Wright Brothers’ flight, the invention of the American democracy, Einstein’s conceptions of the universe, great art, brilliant entrepreneurship and leadership—these all are expressions of transformation. Creating and realizing entirely new possibilities.

My work is a rigorous technology for causing the transformation of individuals, groups, and organizations so that they can create and realize wholly new possibilities, and achieve what was previously impossible.

Dictionary.com: “transformation…from the ancient Greek:  tekhnē =art, skill + lógos= rational principle that governs and develops the universe.”

The process begins by asking, “What is possible for myself, for my organization? Not what is predictable—not what would be an improvement on what now exists—but rather what might be possible?”

You have to put aside the “it can’t be done”, “it’s impossible”, “we tried that before”, “no one’s ever done it”, “what if we fail?”

You have to put the past aside, and open up to the question “What might be possible?”

• • •

Barry Pogorel consults executives to transform their organizations, to make happen what could not happen, and change the world. He is president of Barry Pogorel Inc., a consultancy for leaders worldwide.

The New Science of Leadership

The New Science of Leadership

I just typed in “leadership” on amazon.com and found over 200,000 entries! Google has over 4 million.

It seems that everyone has something to say about leadership. And yet looking at the world today, from business to government, leadership is missing. What’s more, it is missing that it is missing. More information, strategies, characteristics, styles to copy don’t make a leader. A new approach is required.

From the content of our “Being a Leader” Course Part I:

The Four Foundational Factors of being a leader are

  1. Integrity
  2. Authenticity
  3. Being up to something bigger than oneself
  4. Cause in the matter

We promise

You will leave the course being a leader and exercising leadership effectively as your natural self-expression, in any leadership situation and no matter the circumstances.

Being a Leader and the Effective Exercise of Leadership
An Ontological/Phenomenological Model

  • Ontology: study of the nature of being
  • Phenomenology:  study of consciousness and the objects of direct experience.

— Los Angeles, August 2018 *


* Please inquire for upcoming dates.

What You Master with Barry Pogorel

What You Master with Barry Pogorel

WHAT YOU MASTER | From Idea to Impact: Inspiration in Action

In our work together, you discover the levers and dials of creating Revolutionary Results: the science of translating an idea, even an Impossibility—a breakthrough—into reality.

This begins with a Reinvention of yourself in the following sense: What got you to where you are now—your legacy ways of thinking, planning, and action—circumscribe the domain of “what is possible” for you. How strange that your greatest strengths are at the same time your greatest limitations!

Reinventing yourself means to identify these habitual approaches, putting them aside, and discovering a world of new of possibilities and actions that enable you to produce something Revolutionary. Suddenly the present and future become malleable and the scope of what can happen expands.

And, the Reinvention of an organization, of a team, begins with the Reinvention of its leaders first. The next level repeats the individual Reinvention at the level of group and organization. What are the legacy, cultural ways of thinking, planning, and acting? Identifying and then putting these aside, what Impossibilities will you take on as a team, as a company? Imagine releasing the brilliance of an entire group or enterprise, aimed at some Revolutionary result?

We call this a Science for this reason: my approach is a rigorous, reliable method for accomplishment. After we put aside the past-based strategies that you/your team/your organization have used, we then discover the tools, principles, and laws of Revolutionary Performance.

We use the word Discovery in this sense: what you discover for yourself belongs to you. It has a different value, utility, and power when it is yours.

So our method, our approach is the Discovery of the Science of Accomplishing the Revolutionary.

— Barry

 


Let’s talk about your own possibilities. Remember, your inquiry is always confidential.