How Transformation Managers Learn
A Transformation Fable

Once there was a master who was known throughout the land for what he did. Many students came to him to learn his craft.

One day a new student came to see the master. So the master explained what he did and demonstrated how to do it. When he was done, he had built something that looked like this:

"Once I've practiced, I'll be able to do what you do,"the student said.

The student went home and practiced what she had learned. She had to admit to herself that the work was a bit boring, but she continued to practice until she was sure that she could follow the steps to building the structure. After a month, she went back to the master and demonstrated her new skills.

It was a wonderful presentation and the master smiled all through it.

When she was done, she had built something that looked like this:

"See, Master, I can do what you do," she said.

The student was a little surprised when the master again explained what he did and demonstrated how to do it, but this time she noticed some things she hadn't noticed the first time. She noticed that there were many ways to go about building the structure. She still had much to learn.

So the student went home and looked for new ways of working to build the structure, and because she was looking for them, she found them. She discovered ways to increase productivity and ways to make the work easier. And she discovered that there were limits to what could be done.

After a year, she went back to the master and demonstrated the many ways she'd learned to increase productivity and make the work easier. It was a wonderful presentation and the master smiled all through it.

When she was done, she had built many things that all looked like this:

"See, Master, I can do what you do," she said.

She was a little surprised when the master again explained what he did and demonstrated how to do it, but this time she noticed many things she hadn't noticed before. She noticed that some of the limits she'd discovered weren't limits after all. She discovered that the work processes she'd learned could be used to do many things. She realized that she still had much to learn.

So the student went home and looked for ways to apply her ways of working to new challenges, and because she was looking for them, she found them. She worked hard and became well known for the quality of her work. In fact, many people told her that she was now a master herself.

After several years, she went back to the master and demonstrated her work. It was a wonderful presentation and the master smiled all through it.

When she was done, she had built many things. Some of them looked like this:

"See, Master, I can do what you do," she said.

She was a little surprised when the master again explained what he did and demonstrated how to do it, but this time she noticed that there were ways to understand and do the work that she hadn't been aware of. She could still learn much.

So the student went home and looked for new ways to understand and do the work, and because she was looking for them, she found them. She became so well known for her work that many students came to her to learn to do what she did. She would explain what she did and demonstrate how to do it. The students would go home and practice, then come back and demonstrate what they had learned.

After many years she made a discovery that so excited her that she went back to the master and demonstrated her work. It was a wonderful presentation and the master smiled all through it.

When she was done, she had built something that looked like this:

"See, Master, I thought I was creating the structure," she explained. "Now, I've discovered that I was building the space the structure creates."

"Now you do what I do," said the master.

copyright 1997 MG Taylor Corporation. All Rights Reserved