Change, Transition and Transformation

Photo Credit Dragana Čomić Milo

As a “change lover”, I was so impatient, intrigued and interested in organizational change and this was my initial reason to join the INSEAD Executive program for Change.  My objective was to better understand why organizational changes are failing so often and to learn how to guide individuals and teams through the process of change.

Although knowing before, but maybe having forgotten or ignored, it is essential in the learning process to first go through changes ourselves and experience them. Indeed, my executive learning journey is deeply related to reconnecting and reinventing myself, taking a road of transformation.

Some guiding elements emerged while I was engaging in this transformation journey:
·        trust ourselves even when we don’t have the answer or know the process that will lead us to the answer
·        realize that patience is critical since change takes longer than we expect, because to make room for the new, we must get rid of some of the old selves that we are still unconsciously and consciously dragging around
·        starting to do new things (crafting experiments), interacting with new people and making sense (reinvention of our life stories through the lens of the emerging possibilities, finding or creating catalysts and triggers for change) and
·        exploring and discovering possible selves, lingering between identities, outcomes and creating and grounding a deep change.

Realizing that the transition phase is indispensable and very much critical for the transformation process. Being in a transition phase is being in TRANSIT while travelling. The space and time could be weird, useless, lost and empty. Leaving one thing without having fully left it and at the same time not having arrived yet. It took me a long time to find this time while travelling to be in a privileged, creative, dreaming space, a thinking and decision-making time. I have been trying to apply this to my life in general.

There has been a lot of uncertainty, frustration, lack of clarity, avoidance of having a plan. Testing and learning as a transformational model triggered a whole new space for discovering, playing, joy with circular and not fixed end-goal results. It gave me the option of freedom and liberated me. Learn how to tolerate the painful discrepancies of the ‘between identities’, which reflect underlying ambivalence about letting go of the old or embracing the new.

We are not one true self, but many selves, and those identities exist, not only in the past and present, but also, and most importantly, in the future. The possible-selves model reveals that we all carry around, in our hearts and minds, a whole cast of characters: the selves we hope to become; think we should become; or even fear becoming in the future. With the benefit of time between selves, we are more likely to make the deep change necessary to discover more satisfying lives and work, and to eventually restore a sense of continuity of our lives.

And for now: experimenting projects and collaborations, incubating and stepping back and creating by steps in the way forward.  And each step counts while fully embracing MAGIC to take place.

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