DSC_0337Happy New Year! It’s hard to believe we’re done with 2015 and into 2016. What a journey 2015 has been and I know 2016 will be more of the same.

To me journeys are all about transformation and that’s what I’m writing about today. I imagine you’ve heard the saying “If you’re not moving forward you’re dying.” There’s no such thing as standing still. In business and leadership this is especially true. If you’re not moving forward, you can be assured someone else is and pretty soon you’ll be obsolete.

If you haven’t taken the time to get clear about your destination for next year (or even 2 or 3) now is the time to do it. Otherwise you’ll be at the mercy of the winds of change, blown about, this way and that way.

Transformation is challenging because we’re trying to go someplace unknown and we can’t be sure of the outcome. One concept to remember is that Transformation is a process not an event. What I mean by this is that most of us see the end result and then exclaim “What a transformation.” When that happens we are only aware of that moment in time. If instead we could see the back story and all that actually happened we’d see all the work that went into that transformation. It’s this view of the end result by others that results in the Overnight Sensation feeling, which was really ten years in the making.

How do you get to that Transformational State where everyone looks at you with amazement and cries out “Look at that!” First you have to be open to and willing to look for the place where transformation is needed. You have to be willing to admit that it may not be what you think, in fact in many instances it might be the opposite of what you’re thinking. Transformation comes when you open up to providing a new solution to a problem.

If you want to create transformation talk to your peers, employees, clients, vendors and stakeholders what problems do they need solved that you are not aware of. Ask to your sales teams, what problems are they seeing that need to be solved. Talk to your employees, what problems are they encountering that if solved would make them more productive.

Once you have an idea of what the problem is then you can work towards solving it in a new way. Also remember this – problems are your friend. If there are no problems what would they have need of you? Your challenge is to understand their problems better than they do so that you can solve them better than anyone else. And the way to do that is to be open to transformation.

In conclusion I’d like to paraphrase the Star Trek saying…. Transformation will take you “where no organization has gone before.”

What would your organization look like next year or the year after if you started from that premise?