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Transformation Visualised as a Renovation

How can you explain what transformation means in the world of New Ways of Work?

My long-term friend and colleague, Betty Hardcastle, is a firm believer in a metaphor, and through our years of working together, I must concur. So with that in mind, and the Home Channel on the TV in the background, and freshly off the phone with my mom, who told me all about her experience with building an extension to her house, I’m inspired to write about transformation as a metaphor: a renovation.

5 things about renovations that relate to Transformation within New Ways of Work:

1. We can have different connotations to the concept of a renovation. It can be frightening, to some people the word 'renovation' pulls up images of endless nightmares along with night sweats and terror. To others, the word 'renovation' is their biggest dream come true, their inner creative, or project manager, comes to life and their energy is palpable. It’s the same in the workplace, guaranteed. You say "transformation", and some people start bleeding through their eyeballs and others literally jump for joy. My message here: read your crowd, understand who your team are and make sure you cater for the night sweats and the excitement adrenaline to create a ‘New’ together.

2. If you do the planning well, you’ve got the end result clear, your budget is realistic and you’re willing to acknowledge that there will - almost certainly - be challenges (a few walls will need to be broken down), the end result will, without a doubt, be significantly better than where you started. Copy and paste this formula with your transformation team, and trust the process, enjoy the cement on your shoes at the end of the day and be excited to get building with and within your organisation.

3. Once you start you can’t stop. Not in a renovation, and not in a transformation journey at work. Enough said. Do the basics right, follow the plan and don’t give up!

4. A renovation is art not science, it’s not building something from scratch, it’s taking the existing beauty, practicality, views and/or style, and then enhancing it and changing it for a more sustainable future. "Avoid the fashionable-fads", is what renovators will tell you, and advice on transformation is the same: do what makes sense for the future strategy of your business, design around the future, the goals and the aspirations, and make it yours. Copying and pasting a Pinterest board never did anyone any good in a renovation, same as with transformation: make sure it’s the style that will be sustainable for your company.

5. There are different ways to renovate: one room at a time, DIY or ‘move out of the house’ for a year, and gut the place: there is no wrong or right, pick a lane and follow through, and know whichever you choose comes with pro’s and con’s, night sweats and palpable excitement.

Enjoy the journey and know that most likely, you’ll never arrive at a 100% completed result.


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