Transformation program – Inspiration phase

In this series of four articles Daan Noordeloos discusses the four I’s, Insight, Inspiration, Implementation and Integration, from the perspective of an internal transformation manager, supported by People Change.

The previous article described the Insight phase. In the Inspiration phase we link the questions about mission, vision, values, behaviour and success factors to the organizational components. Such as: what does leadership mean? What does it mean for our processes and resources? And above all: what does it mean for the development of people and how do we make that transparent? This will result in one plan that describes the total ambition of the organization.



Where do you want to go?

After the Insight phase, you will understand where you stand. The second force you use in a change is the rewarding perspective – where do you want to go? Suppose we can rebuild the organisation so that it can cope with the future. What would that look like?


Mission Organization

The rewarding perspective begins with the mission and vision for the future. Many organisations look for an inspiring mission or get stuck in taking the organisation with them. Again, it starts with yourself as a leader. What inspires you? What can you connect with? When an organization takes little or no time for this, the power of well formulated and felt mission is lacking.


Mission of transformation

It is my mission to guide our organization in its transformation to a yellow-green organization. In doing so, we build on the existing culture and preserve what already makes the organisation successful.

That choice for a yellow-green organisation inspires and attracts people, but can also repel people. By making this choice very explicit, we discover who is ‘running in front of the cart’. With this group we start the transformation, which immediately gives us a lot of energy and inspiration and the first successes follow quickly.

People who are ‘behind the cart’ are often inspired by those first successes, but if not, at some point this group will leave the organisation – whether forced or not.



In our organisation we have people-oriented, green people who are very good with customers, targeted people who are passionate orange, structured blue people who identify risks and red people who are good at dealing with crisis situations. These value systems represent which concrete behaviour at which accepted level is necessary to be successful in our organisation.

If you have mastered these four values and are able to address them in your organisation, you already have a yellow organisation. Yellow organisations have an abstract overview of all value systems and they can use them where necessary. A yellow organisation either has a lot of yellow people, or people of all colours operating from their strengths.


Developing yourself instead of others

It is a reflex at many organisations to take things big and start by changing others. In a brainstorming session, we are eager and people say: “Yes, I have an idea! They have to do this and that differently.”

That is the moment where we go full in the anchors. Because in the implementation phase, it is first and foremost about developing something for yourself. So back to your own circle of influence.


Focus on cooperation instead of results

In this program, People Change uses the the value axis and the result axis in a graph to indicate how effective an organisation is. The result axis is about goals and the value axis about collaboration.

The result axis represents what is usually taken for granted in organisations. So a commercial company wants to grow and increase customer satisfaction, more turnover and less costs.

But to achieve those goals, you have to work together, from individuals to a team – moving from me to us.  Because the better you can work together, the easier it is to achieve the goals on the bottom line.


Understanding the other person’s value system

This cooperation requires the ability to recognise, appreciate and develop other value systems. You can best present yourself and do things if you understand each other’s worldview. Then you know how to take this into account and how to deal with it. So you can work better together.

It does require a lot of patience, self-insight and commitment to be able to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. So you have to understand first before you can be understood. This is such a fundamental principle that it can take months to comprehend.


Switching at the value axis

Switching at the value axis means that you understand the other person’s value system and work together from there, so that through growth on the value axis you ultimately grow on the result axis.

When the team understands how to switch at that value axis, it is better able to achieve results. That’s a sustainable result, because a better score on customer satisfaction is nice today, but you can continue to improve that for the rest of your career if you work better together. Then it is also much easier to achieve those results. But that will happen in the Implementation phase, which will be the subject of the next blog article.