The transformation map

Big day yesterday – it was the occasion of the very first Agendashift facilitator day, the first of many I hope! Here, in all its glory is the transformation map we produced:


For the name transformation map we have workshop participant Tony Richards to thank. One of those things that seems obvious in retrospect (but still all credit to Tony), it’s a particular kind of story map (I described it as such), one whose ‘spine’ is a transformation journey.

The detail is driven from the 40+ prompts of the Agendashift values-based delivery assessment. Category by category (value by value or journey step by journey step) we:

  1. Prioritise prompts that represent areas of opportunity
  2. Identify obstacles that prevent the full realisation of the future reality described by the prompt
  3. “Flip” those obstacles into objectives (Clean Language provides some fun ways to do this)
  4. (Optional) Generate actions for those objectives

To set the right context for the transformation mapping process we explore existing strategic objectives and assess the current situation. This process builds agreement, creates opportunities for alignment, and ensures that the resulting transformation strategy is coherent not just by construction, but in context also.

Other learnings

Learnings for me, that is!

Between the outer wrapping of that strategic exploration and the meat of the transformation mapping exercise, most of my workshops have up until now included a series of exercises around hypothesis-driven change (HDC). Here, we take a small number of high priority outcomes, generate actions for them, and then choose just one action to reframe (Lean Startup-style) and develop (A3 style). Yesterday, the transition from this deep dive to the breadth of the mapping exercise felt difficult for some participants.

I’ve not noticed this difficulty in client workshops, but it could be that the facilitator day’s lack of a shared organisational context amplifies a problem of which I was previously unaware. Anyway, I take it seriously.

Long story short, in the next iteration of this workshop, the HDC exercises will be postponed until after the transformation mapping activity. Transformation mapping is now very much the core part of the day, to the extent that I’m very much inclined to rename the workshop as a whole after it!

This change has further significance: deferring the generation of actions makes outcomes the main unit of currency for most the day. It is often natural to use outcomes and actions somewhat interchangeably, but nevertheless I’m sure that this development is healthy, perhaps bringing our consciously non-prescriptive approach into sharper focus. Remember: inclusive • contextual • fulfilling • open!

Keep an eye on our events calendar for more of these public workshops; feel free to ask that we hold one near you (perhaps you can help us make it happen). And if you’d like me or a friendly neighbourhood Agendashift partner to assist you in building your own organisation’s transformation map, don’t hesitate to get in touch.

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