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Transformational ChangeA new Context of business has arrived. Mass Customization is as different from Mass Production as space travel is from travel on Earth. After the gravitational force of earth is released, the working environment of the astronaut becomes effortless. Similarly, releasing the controlling force of Mass Production Thinking is the prerequisite for effortless, seamless relationships with customers.

To help his clients experience this shift in Context, Mr. Wentz developed The Organizational Transformation Simulation. This unique simulation helps people experience the exhilaration of an effortless, seamless, empowered, innovative organization. This book documents the trauma of letting go of Mass Production Thinking. As you read, you will feel the challenge to what you have known for years.



The future cannot be solved into existence any more than an airplane can be modified to fly in space. This book will help you transform your Mass Production mind and navigate effectively within the new business environment.

Transformational Change is about positive, permanent change driven by the desire to be different. The book will take you beyond the buzzwords and help you understand how to create a new Business of the BUSINESS. The speed of the new business environment has permanently changed. It’s different today. A new context called Mass Customization is here to stay. It is not a buzzword or a new strategy. Your company must be different or you won’t make it. New leadership is required at all levels of the organization.

Transformational Change identifies Mass Production Thinking as the major barrier to organizational change. Mass Production Thinking is too slow to compete in the world of networked intelligence yet, Mass Production Thinkers are still in control in most organizations. They have practiced their craft well. The imbedded muscle memory of "my way or the highway" speeches will never be erased. The verbal beatings were real and new speeches about empowerment and partnerships won’t change anything.

Transformational Change is unlike other forms of change in that it meets no resistance. People don’t resist change; they fear the unknown. Transformational Change, therefore starts by creating an accurate vision of the future, and enrolling everyone in creating the Vision. When people are free to use their creative potential, they feel important within the process of change. The urgency to implement change comes from commitment to the customer, rather than compliance to the boss.

You will enjoy the humorous, real life examples about the Mass Production Thinker and how he tries to digest the new business environment. Mass Production Thinking is truly Burned Out - yet - Still Shining in many organizations today. You will actually feel the contextual blindness that prevents it from changing. The humor of the examples dissolves once you realize that your organization is likely infected with Mass Production Thinking. Using a Burned Out business model is a terrifying thought. Mass Production Thinking is technically obsolete.

Transformational Change does not seek to interpret and explain Mass Customization as a new reality. The networks and technology that form the infrastructure of this new business environment are far too complex for any book to explain. The purpose of Transformational Change is to release the brakes, unlock your potential, and set you free to create within the new business environment. The leadership model contained in this book is not new, yet it is significantly different from the Mass Production approach. Transformational Change will help you transform your approach to leading change and enable your company to respond to the new business environment.

Quotes from Tom Wentz...

  • "You must read this book, not to explain where you are, rather to help you get to where you want to go."
  • "Read Transformational Change if you want to be challenged to realize your potential. You can’t be different until you release the constraining mechanism of wanting to be better."
  • "Reading Transformational Change is more than an intellectual exercise. It is an experience in thinking about how you think."
  • "Transformational Change will help you define change in terms of sustainable business value."


This is not more buzz words from a consultant.

I have read Tom's book twice. The second time very carefully because I wanted to be sure that I was not being seduced by the obvious. I was not. This is an addition to the literature on leading change. Many of the terms are familiar but Tom has brought them together in a way that creates a new picture of the forces that change -- and don't change -- business.

I have become somewhat sceptical of all of the warnings of the dramatic shifts in paradigms that business must face to survive but Tom has succeeded in explaining the shift from mass production thinking to something new in a way that can be understood. I get a clear picture of what it means when there is a new context requiring new thinking. Not every business will face the same changes in context but every business needs to understand if and when its context changes.

I am distributing this book to the sixty CEOs in my CEO peer groups for them to read and discuss. I am also going to schedule an opportunity for them to participate in a simulation to experience first hand the limits that mass production thinking imposes on our search for solutions.

Loren G. Carlson


A Great Look at Mass Production Stalls and Overcoming Them

This book is a wonderful look at the experiences of hundreds of people looking for more meaning and fulfillment in their work. All of those organizations that made the most progress were the ones that added the most meaning the the lives of those in the company and their customers. Although the book does not discuss Habitat for Humanity, that model came to mind. Value-based leadership is essential to value-based enterprises. You will find out a lot about both in this book.

Thomas Wentz has done an important service in identifying the thinking habits of mass production as an overwhelming source of organizational and individual stalled thinking. If he had stopped at that, he would have had a very important book that would benefit most people. However, he went beyond that and explored great stallbusting methods for overcoming the mass production stalls. I particularly endorse his ideas for the use of scenarios to give people experience in making the required changes. This book is an important complement to The 2,000 Percent Solution. I have not seen the argument against mass production put together in quite this way before: That it is doomed because of its negative impact on the people in the business that provides the mass-produced product or service.

When the economic history of this period is written, people in the future will be amazed as how slow businesses were to take advantage of the irresistible forces of new technology and customer desires to provide much more satisfying, individualized solutions. Almost everyone is aware of examples of this new approach (on Amazon.com, at Dell Computer's on-line site, and at Burger King), yet most companies are ignoring the inevitable revolution in front of them. This book makes the case eloquently for this shift.

I was very impressed with the depth and acuteness of perception in this book's treatment of the sources of bad thinking habits and how to overcome them. A high percentage of the disenabling beliefs that cause people to improve the efficiency of yesterday rather than create the better solutions of today were described and well dissected here.

I hope that everyone who would like to work in a more interesting company or receive more individualized services and products will read this book immediately!

Overcome your bureaucratic, tradition, misconception, disbelief, procrastination, and independence stalls with this outstanding book.

Donald Wayne Mitchell - Coauthor of The Irresistible Growth Enterprise (available now in electronic form and in hard cover in September 2000) and The 2,000 Percent Solution


Thank's Tom. We have waited so long!

Tom Wentz has given us a better way. His message is powerful and inspirational. His insights on vision, engaged leadership, and commitment to mass customization, enable us to at last make the customer the force that drives our business.

Tom's transformation begins within us. It is very exciting and long overdue.

Jerry R Helms


When it comes to organizational change, we are always looking for a book that says something new and substantive; this volume does just that! The author explores change at a deeper-than-usual level. He examines the shift in thinking and in the nature of organization covering such topics as: the nature of change, underlying assumptions, vision, leadership, technology, and forces creating action.

Two major and engrossing chapters address the issues of (1) setting strategy versus creating alignment and (2) the role of self-awareness in organizational change (transformation starts from the inside—thinking and emotion). The main theme of this well written book is to reveal how limiting the context of mass production thinking is and how to overcome it through personal mastery and personal freedom; transformational leaders must achieve this INNER change and the shift in their view of the world which focuses on seizing new potentialities. This work provides the reader with many excellent insights. Highly recommended.

Gerry Stern (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
Culver City, CA
October 26, 1999
Author of Stern's Sourcefinder-The Master Directory to HR and Business Management Information & Resources, and Stern's Management Review.


Powerful stuff

Tom Wentz is an intelligent person who has helped our company on a journey of transformational change. A couple of years ago, we were like many companies, working very hard to achieve incremental improvements each year. We were focused solely on our objective, a financial return, without a singular direction or vision to guide us. We were out of alignment. Tom came in and facilitated the process of articulating a vision and a purpose for our company. We have seen incredible things happening ever since. We are focused on creating, not problem solving. We understand the singular vision for the company, and we are all working toward creating it. We understand why the company exists, its purpose, and we are engaging our people to live it. Senior management is aligned. Tom's book is not one you can skim and put back on the shelf. It must be digested at a pace which allows you to think, communicate and live the concepts. Should you do this, it will change the way you think and work forever.

Bonnie Brannigan (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
September 9, 1999


The book gets 5 stars. THE RESULTS GET 10 STARS.

The other reviews of this book are absolutely on target. While the book is a "5", the process and results are a "10".

This review will provide some evidence of the possibilities for your business and you personally that result from using the transformation process described in the book.

Sales doubled in a no-growth market. ROI is more than 5 times the industry median. Business is now global. Employee turnover is less than 5%. Competition can't keep up. Employees actually enjoy their role, and their commitment to clients is second to none.

Would you like to have results like these? Would you like to personally gain control, respect, recognition and/or approval? Want to really enjoy being a Leader? Want more time for family and outside interests? You, yourself can personally transform just as much as the business. Read this book, drink a glass of courage, and engage Tom Wentz to help. The process works beyond your wildest dreams.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Columbus, OH
September 3, 1999


A meaningful work for leaders to create a new business model

This book finally provides the process to address how leaders can transform their company. Many other books defined the need to rethink the "business of the business" but none actually outlined a process. I have not only read the book but also participated in several of Tom's Simulation exercises. With this experiential background, I can honestly express to readers that you will actually understand what Tom is trying to convey only after having experienced the Simulation in conjunction with reading the book. We all have seen managers who were trying to "fix" an organization into a level of performance desired by customers, stockholders, and employees. Given the changes in consumers' demands for customized solutions, organizations that were built within the context of Mass Production cannot be "fixed" into a new existence. Organizations must be transformed and created to compete within the new reality of Mass Customization and the required thinking of a "market of one."

The Simulation allows team members to "feel" the transformational change process and thereby it becomes more meaningful and alive than simply understanding the intellectual issues documented within Transformational Change. In particular, it becomes critical that a collection of individuals become aligned on the outcome the organization is trying to "create"; i. e., the Vision. More importantly, the individual boss can no longer "tell" the organization what the Vision should be. In today's world, team members must collectively create the Vision and enroll in that creation process. Subsequent to alignment on Vision, then the Structural Framework becomes the documented process for leading the organization through transformation.

If you read this book and participate within a Simulation, you will not believe how you will be equipped to transform your organization and be prepared to deal with the realtiy of Mass Customization. This is a very important book that all leaders should read, and read again.

David W. Voris (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
Scottsdale, AZ
July 21, 1999


Challenging read...right on target...new business model

Tom could be the new Drucker of the millenium. This information is right on target, will be difficult for mass production thinkers to accept, but, mass production thinking is everywhere. There are so many crisis managers out there trying to "fix" their people and organization and it won't work. I have implemented his new context with a corporate client who has people "enrolled" in the process of creating their new vision. It is so exciting to see and refreshing. The president of this organization is having more fun and accomplishing more than he has in 26 yrs. This is a book that you will need to read, reread, absorb and simulate. Mass production thinkers will not like what Tom has to say, but remember "it is not about the people, it's about the structure" This is not the way people think in mass production corporations. Way to go Tom!!!

Terry Ainsworth (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
Concord, NC
July 20, 1999


"Many of us know that we must lead transformational change. Not many have access to a structural framework that defines and facilitates the process. For the first time Transformational Change outlines a process that leaders can adopt for their organizations. In addition, Tom Wentz has developed a simulation workshop that helped our team "feel" the change from being a collection of individuals into being an integrated team committed to creating a shared vision. The simulation workshop allows team members to experience and understand "mass customization" in practice instead of theory. The book must be read by everyone truly interested in leading their organization through transformational change."

David Voris
Wells Fargo


"The best book a leader could have---if you have the guts to take bold new steps to create competitive advantage, this is for you---the process is fun and your people will be blown away by the positive personal impact it can produce" 

Peter Benson, President
Solidstate Controls Inc.


"Tom Wentz has concisely captured the six steps to teach people to "Create Alignment on Purpose" in the 15th chapter of his TRANSFORMATIONAL CHANGE. Tom is a wizard at understanding what makes people tick...he is an elite member of the World Class that really knows...a small select enlightened few!"

Dennis Bridges
Copeland Corporation


Find today's market exciting...and confusing? Formerly reliable strategies for success seem less and less effective? Annoyed and frustrated when new companies seem to rise up "out of nowhere" and take over significant market segments in no time at all? Me too...what's going on here?

Tom Wentz answers those questions in Transformational Change. This thorough and disciplined work provides a lucid explication and analysis of current and evolving marketplace dynamics and why the old ways don't seem to work anymore and what you can do about it.

This is not your typical compilation of "mountain-climbing" strategies but a well-honed tool to help you decide if you've been climbing the wrong mountain...or if you should be climbing mountains at all. It ain't easy. Success is burgeoning everywhere but is simultaneously being redefined and if you expect your share you need to look afresh at "the business of your business". It's about relevance, man! Are you?

Transformational Change is a compelling call...not necessarily to action but to awareness. This a "big-boy" book and not for everyone. Hike up your shorts and read it now...or you can read it later, when you have plenty of time because your business has collapsed under the weight of your vast experience.



A must read for leaders in all fields!

In this book Tom clearly communicates not only the new CONTEXT we operate in, but also how to succeed in it. Leaders in all arenas will benefit from this book. The practical tools outlined in each chapter will equip you and your team to lead Transformational Change. This is the one book I’ve read which expertly teaches theory and implementation. A book to be read, reviewed, and consulted often!

Matt Rose
Princeton, NJ
February 2, 2000


Tom's got it Right!

Tom's insights are spot on. His lessons are must learns for all executives looking to thrive, not just survive!

Mike Corbo
December 1, 1999


This book makes sense out of dramatic business changes.

Tom has reframed the way we look at business growth. The failures of incrementalism and continuous improvement models are clearly illuminated in this insightful book.

But Tom Went'z "Transformational Change" does just leave the reader with a critique of what not to do, he provides the business leader with a formula for creating a transformational strategy.

We have frequently heard that leadership involves the courage to take risks. Tom provides leaders with a formula for taking well thought out risks to create the future for themselves and their business.

William O. Mehnert (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
Malvern, PA
November 10, 1999


Opened our eyes to effortless effectiveness, not try harder!

Our plan's for the future are bolder, and more cohesive based on the concepts Tom puts forth. Attention to detail and great effort are a part of all enterprises, but Tom helps get these efforts aligned in a way that reduces the stress of departmental issues and focuses on results. It has helped us with the issues we face and the opportunities we seek.

Cincinnati, OH, USA
October 10, 1999


"Think different" insight you can use to grow any business.

Didn't know what to expect, but Tom offers a real, practical context for keeping any business current in quickly changing times. Easy read with powerful concepts that one can understand, and put to practice tomorrow.

If you are "mass customerization" focused yet work in a "mass production" environment you'll discover and understand the source of your misery. The ideas are so compelling, you won't be able to put the book down (I took it to the beach).

A reader from a private media company in Ohio
September 30, 1999


This book is a great read once, twice and beyond.

Transfomational Change, Thomas Wentz's new book, has truly been an "eye opening" experience. Having read this book for the first time, I have found, and Wentz has become, my "Intellectual Ophthalmologist". Giving me new lenses for these old eyes allowing me to see what I have been blind to, not only in my own company, but the clients I serve. For years we talked about the customer, but Wentz has put them in their rightful perspective. Within the covers of his book what is most exciting is his seeing the need for a new context of business and Wentz's ability to help his clients shift their thinking in terms of a seamless relationship with their customers; a true differentiator. I spoke of my new "Intellectual Ophthalmologist". I believe it's impossible to create that which one can't "see" or vision. I truly thank Mr. Wentz for the new perspective he has offered in his book and remind other readers that like new glasses, they take some getting used to. I am in my second reading and continue to find things I never saw before. His concepts are different, some difficult and that's what makes this book a great read once, twice and beyond. Mass customization offers endless possibilities for relationships with customers never dreamed of before. Stop in, buy the book and treat yourself to a verse or two of "I can see clearly now".

Tom Larson (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
Troy, MI
September 22, 1999


A new way to think about Leadership and Transformation.

There is a debate occurring within the educational establishment about means and ends as it relates to our schools. The debaters should read this book to learn about the power of vision-the Tom Wentz way of describing ends.

In my experience the major fault of most organizations is a lack of creativity. Even when some creativity is shown there is a lack of courage to execute new behaviors which are based on new skills or a new context. We see this in training seminars in which practical skills and concepts are discussed and apparently accepted only to be ignored in the "real world". Tom Wentz helps explain this problem through a better understanding of context and structure.

Too many organizations accept their contexts as givens and fail to understand the necessity for changing context. Wentz uses an interesting metaphor to illustrate this idea.

I particularly liked the chapters on Leadership and Competitive Advantage. In the many books written about leadership most have failed to outline what a truly transformational leader has to be. Wentz does this.

I like the way he addresses competitive advantage. In Detroit, gaining and keeping competitive advantage is increasingly more difficult. Suppliers to the automotive industry try to compete on their technology and innovation but are constantly challenged on price. They have yet to see how competitive advantage is gained through the entire buying experience. The companies that discover wholeness and collective intelligence will win larger contracts and at their price.

The layout of this book makes it very easy to read, chapter by chapter. Each one contains nuggets to "chew on". The "Key Points" in bold type are helped me understand and remember the concepts presented.

The second half of this book provides some "hows".

In this portion Wentz lays out the path to transformation by listing sample outcome statements, strategies for creating and the forces which will lead to success.

A successful reading of this book requires thinking, concentration and introspection. You will gain the true benefit of his message when you open your beliefs (context) to the ideas presented. I suggest a quick reading that focuses on the chapter titles, the diagrams and the key points. Then go back and digest each chapter while analyzing your business or that of a client in the context of Mass Production or Mass Customization. Then look for places where these ideas could be applied, in your business, or in your lives.

I hope Tom's next effort is the creation of some kind of a workbook with a detailed case study and a transformational process for reviewing context. That would be a very useful tool in guiding a transformation effort. Or does that sound too much like Mass Production thinking?

Page Glasgow (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
Detroit, MI
September 13, 1999


A MUST Read for Leaders Wanting to Re-Ignite Their Flame

Change is the one constant that all leaders face-how effectively we manage that change will determine our future viability....will we "Burn Out" or will we thrive??

The key as Tom Wentz enlightens us in "Transformational Change" is to determine the "business of the business" and then create the "underlying structure" to ensure that "business" is achieved. Tom provides a long overdue roadmap to leading transformational change that provides bottom-line results! If you were like me and were "burned out" in a mass production paradigm, get your hands on a copy of "Transformational Change" and create a new and different life for yourself and those you lead!

Dale Dvorak
Princeton, NJ
September 12, 1999


Essential how-to's for changing my business.

Thomas Wentz's "Transformational Change" is the most important and insighful business book I have ever read. I have spent the last tweny years trying to build a sucessful business. It has been very frustrating. Mr. Wentz's book shows me a number of things I have been doing wrong. But more importantly he describes in detail what I can do to change my business into a profitable, creative organism that will be a joy to go to everyday. I have been trying for years to get my people to "care" about what they do and to "get the big picture" to no avail. Now I believe that I am learning the tools that will change my business into the Business that it needs to become.

Usually you can get one or two new ideas to try out of a good book. But Wentz's offering has four or five new insights in every chapter. It will take a lot of courage on my part to implement these changes, but I am confident that they will work. The reason for this confidence is Wentz's examples in his book that describe the situations I have gone through for years. He not only describes WHY what I have been doing will not work, but he gives the steps to change the business into what will work. GREAT BOOK!!

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Titusville, FL
September 12, 1999


Cuts thru business complexity like Star Wars' light saber!

A MUST read! When you and all of your business team associates fully understand "What the business of your Business" really is, transformational change seems seamless and simple. This is the only Business book you'll ever need. It should be issued to every employee and become your Standard Operations Manual. After reading it, give your copy to your Founder, CEO, or President and pray that they become enlightened to call Tom to personally facilitate the Transformational Change in your Company. Then watch for the excitement to begin.

I've been fortunate to have participated in the work sessions and have witnessed unbelievable changes. Hurry while you still have time!

Columbus, OH
September 11, 1999


Required reading for the Advanced Leader!

Albert Einstein once said "The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them." Tom hammers this point home and gives you the road map out of the endless loop of doing more of the same. Read Chapter 7 and find out if your organization is focused on the right things!

Kenneth Parker (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
Atlanta, GA
September 9, 1999


A must read in our world of "nuts & bolts" thinking.

Tom has captured and clearly explains the value of transforming the way you should think in order to change all aspects of how you do business - internally and externally. His concept on the "Competitive Advantage Equation" (CA) was a major breakthrough for our organization. (Chapter 10) CA defines, in simple terms, what we need to communicate to our sales representatives on how they should view their value for their customers. We teach this equation several time a year in our National Accounts University sessions. The competitive advantage equation is one of several foundation stones for "transformational" thinking in our organization.

Roger Walker (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)
Columbus, OH
September 8, 1999


For CEO's who want to create change quickly!

Tom Wentz has concisely captured the six steps to teach people to "Create Alignment on Purpose" in the 15th chapter of his TRANSFORMATIONAL CHANGE. Tom is a wizard at understanding what makes people tick...he is an elite member of the World Class that really knows...a small select enlightened few!

Dennis Bridges-Copeland Corporation
Orlando, FL
July 28, 1999


This book should be required reading for all execs. & mgrs.

In this book that is impossible to put down once you've started it, Tom Wentz helps us understand that the world has changed and we in business had better do so as well or we'll be lost. He also provides us with a template for how to make the change from mass production to mass customization thinking and action. The inclusion of real stories and examples from real organizations adds to the credibility and urgency of his message. It is both a frightening and exciting time in the business world and Tom's book helps move you to the excitement.

Linda Mantell
Vice President, Wilson Learning Corp.
San Francisco, CA
July 22, 1999


Henry Ford won't like this...

Today's marketplace is exciting...and confusing. Formerly reliable business strategies for success seem to be less and less effective. New companies rise up "out of nowhere" and take over significant market segments in no time at all. What's going on here? Transformational Change is a thorough and fascinating analysis of current and evolving marketplace dynamics. Wentz explains why the old ways don't seem to work anymore and what you can do about it. This is not a compilation of strategies but no less than a re-framing of what it means to be in business. What IS the "business of your business"? Maybe you've been climbing the wrong mountain. Or perhaps you shouldn't be climbing mountains at all. This ain't easy to take but if you find yourself annoyed by more and more customers with unrealistic expectations, you need this book. If you've never heard of "mass-customization", you're already in trouble -- you need this book. This a "big-boy" book and not for everyone. Hike up your shorts and read it now...or you can read it later, when you have plenty of time because your business has collapsed under the weight of your vast experience.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
TopJuly 19, 1999



Table of Contents:

  1. Introduction
  2. Burned Out - Still Shining
  3. Context/Content
  4. The Customer
  5. Change
  6. Assumptions
  7. Structure
  8. Leadership
  9. Technology
  10. Vision
  11. Competitive Advantage
  12. Outcomes, Strategies, and Measurements
  13. Forces
  14. Psychological Experience
  15. Collective Intelligence
  16. Alignment
  17. Self-awareness
  18. The Journey


We invite you to review the introduction of the book to get a sense of what Transformational Change is about...

Transformational Change is the conscious and intentional change of a substance, object, organization, or mechanism to create a different form of matter, process, or relationship. Transformational change, therefore, brings into being new and different products, services, processes, and organizations.

While the process of Transformational Change is very complex, it happens routinely around and within us every day. Examples abound. Trees are transformed into paper, and your body easily transforms food into energy. People’s lives are transformed through educational, marital, and religious experiences. Countries are transformed when new political approaches are adopted. The shift from communism to democracy is a massive transformational undertaking.

We have entered a time when many old models of business, government, education, and society are being transformed. The Industrial Age has been replaced with the Information Age, and the Human Potential Age is emerging. Hierarchical organizations have been dismantled in favor of flatter, more responsive networks. The control mechanism of middle management has been swept aside by a new model called self-directed teams. There are many books about this type of change, and I promise that Transformational Change will not bore you with the history of this evolutionary process.

Everyone knows that change is happening. There are many excellent books that prescribe specific advice concerning the challenges ahead. Yet, many organizations continue to struggle. One senior leader recently told me his company had been through 30 different change initiatives and "We still aren’t world class."

Key Point:

The old models of business are built on Mass Production Thinking.
Reorganization and reengineering don’t guarantee that rethinking will occur.
To be world class is an illusion within the Context of Mass Production Thinking.

I wrote Transformational Change to help you realize that Mass Production Thinking does not inspire or motivate people. Every executive wants motivated employees, but Mass Production Thinkers get caught up in the numbers and believe that change is a function of control. Workers at all levels have been blamed for a lack of work ethic. Mass Production Thinkers truly believe that the problem is one of productivity. People who are experiencing blame are psychologically unable to commit their creative talent to those who blame. Transformational Change will help you eliminate blame and release the human potential that is waiting to be applied.

Transformational Change will help you understand why people resist change. The very word change drives fear into the hearts of many people because the result of the change is not desired or known. Have you been involved in a change initiative where the intention was to downsize; do more with less; or work smarter, not harder? The announced intention is about reorganizing the organization and effectively reducing the number of people in the organization. Confronted with this type of message, people immediately speculate about their role in the process and the desirability of the end result. People cannot embrace change when the end result is not known or the intention appears to eliminate their jobs.

Transformational Change will help you formulate and communicate a vision of a desired end result even within the most difficult change situations. The leadership message must be carefully crafted. The announced intention must always be about the customer and how the Business of the BUSINESS must change.

The Mass Production Thinker will tend to communicate a vision in terms of measurements. For example, let’s suppose I told you I was going on vacation next week. What would be your logical next question? "Where are you going?" Just suppose I tell you, "I’m going to drive 1,000 miles, at 60 miles per hour, and average 30 miles per gallon." How’s that for an answer? You would ask me again, "Where are you going?" I would say, "1000/60/30." This is a strange answer to your question, but I hear this answer every day. Executives frequently confuse measurements and vision. I attended a national sales meeting recently where the president showed a screen entitled "Our Vision—$200 Million, 12% net bottom line and a stock price at 20 times earning." How many times have you been told, "We’re going to be a $200 million company in five years?" Why not $201 million?

Transformational Change is about establishing new ways to measure success within the Context of Mass Customization. The cost-plus mentality of Mass Production does not lead to innovation. It is an illusion to believe that the Business of the BUSINESS will be transformed using a linear measurement mentality. The accounting group of a very large financial services organization quietly admitted to me that they had no clue how to measure Mass Customization and would never embrace such a change in thinking.

Transformational Change will help you transform your personal life. Simply stated, personal transformation is about creating what you want to be and doing what you want to do. A world of abundance will become your playpen and you will be able to transfer this awareness to those you love.

Transformational Change will also help you become a proper advocate for change. Many people today want to be effective change agents, but most people don’t know how. Many Transformational Change advocates are perceived as crazy or radical thinkers because their ideas challenge the Context of the existing environment. A Context is how people see the world, interpret circumstances, and explain behavior. The Context is well-embedded in belief systems and will cause people and nations to tenaciously defend their existence.

Being an effective change agent is difficult because the change ideas always make people "wrong" for their beliefs. People confronted in this manner will typically eliminate the messenger rather than change the Context of current reality. Let me give you several examples.

It’s 1492 and you are Brian Jones, President of Aztec Flat World Boats. The stock market is booming and shares in Aztec have experienced a 70% increase over the past year. The unique maneuvering system invented by Aztec makes your boats much easier to dock in crowded harbors.

You have just met a man named Christopher Columbus who wants to know why your boats only have a 30-gallon water tank on-board. Your answer is "That’s all people need for a day." You proceed to tell Christopher about the new maneuvering system and why Aztec stock would be a great investment.

Can you feel the tension Christopher would feel? To Brian the question appears to be about the Content features of the boat, but the real issue is one of Context. Christopher sees the world as round; Brian sees the world as flat. Christopher’s message challenges the Context of Brian’s thinking. Is there any wonder they gave Christopher Columbus prisoners to pilot his ships?

It’s 1912 and you are Fred Burke, president of Wagon Masters, Inc. You have just been awarded a patent on a new shock-absorbing device that makes your stagecoaches more comfortable. You have heard about the horseless carriage, but Wagon Master stock has doubled with the announcement of the patent. A young man by the name of Henry Ford came by recently to see how you build coaches. You told him they are all custom built by the world’s finest craftspeople. Mr. Ford is an entrepreneur who is looking for investment capital to build horseless carriages. He has concluded that "crafting" will not produce carriages fast enough. You told him nothing will replace the horse and comfortable carriages and Wagon Master stock would be a good investment.

The question Mr. Ford is asking is about Context. He wants to shift from crafting to Mass Production. Mr. Burke is arguing for the Content that is designed into his coaches. A challenge to the existing Context always brings an argument for embedded Content.

Key Point:

The investment in Content in today’s business environment is enormous, and business owners are committed to realizing a return on that investment.

Consider President Kennedy’s speech about landing a man on the moon by the end of the decade. It’s the early 1960s and space travel is still the fantasy of Buck Rogers and Captain Video. The aviation industry has just finished transforming commercial aircraft from propellers to jets. Some people could easily believe that a jet plane could be modified to fly faster and arrive in space. The sound barrier has been broken. Why not the gravitational barrier?

We all know that an entirely new and different vehicle had to be created for space travel. Astronauts would experience the threatening, weightless environment of space. In 1960, aeronautical engineering textbooks did not contain the technology of space vehicles. The investment in new technology was massive, and creative talent had to be consciously and intentionally applied to transform aviators into astronauts.

Key Point:

The engineering knowledge to operate in the new business environment is totally new in the past 10 years. Many Mass Production methods are technologically obsolete.

Leap ahead to 1972 and you are a consumer asking General Motors why their cars guzzle gas and why their engines fail at 50,000 miles? Their answers are about the styling and comfort of the new models and how your next purchase should be a car of higher quality. In 1972, quality was a Content feature afforded by upper class buyers.

Once again, your question is about Context and their answer is about Content. The embedded design features assume that you are not entitled to quality unless you are affluent. In 1972, quality was directly proportional to price. The higher the price, the higher the quality. The Context of quality was defined by the affluence of buyers. The Context of seeing buyers within mass market segments led to the marketing strategy of planned obsolescence. If companies like General Motors could create a predictable interval of product failure, new and improved models could be planned and introduced to sustain consumer demand.

Recall how Ralph Nader and the consumerism movement challenged the Context of quality in the 1970s. Many companies thought that consumerism was a fad and tried to ignore and eliminate Ralph. Like Christopher Columbus and Henry Ford, Ralph Nader challenged the Context and companies defended their Content.

Let’s explore one more example. It’s now 1998 and you just bought a personal computer to connect to the Internet. The salesperson likely did not tell you about the quality differences between brands. Quality is not defined by how long it will last or how well it is styled. You don’t have to pay more for quality. All computers have the same processor. You pay more for speed, connectivity, and customization to meet your needs. You actually may pay less to get exactly what you need. It has all changed. The questions now are will it connect and can it be upgraded. A computer doesn’t wear out with use. It is, however, technologically obsolete before you buy it.

Key Point:

The Context has changed and the Content of products today is different.
Technological obsolescence has replaced planned obsolescence as a dominant business strategy.

Welcome to Transformational Change. What you are about to read can be as frustrating as the dialog contained in the pervious examples. As you read this book, you must consciously think about key words, such as Context and Content. These words look alike and will easily confuse the casual reader. Throughout the book, you will encounter words such as structure, purpose, alignment, capability, and collective intelligence—all of which have very different meanings in the new business environment. I apologize in advance for the contextual differences, but the water tank capacity question Christopher Columbus presented is important. The answer will determine the success of his journey.

In this book, I frequently talk about your journey into the new business environment. The journey is happening. It isn’t optional. Whether you like it or not, we are all loaded on the boat, plane, or rocket to a new Context of doing business. As with Christopher Columbus, the world was round and everyone had to transform their thinking. Mr. Ford created a new Context of serving massive numbers of people with affordable products. Foreign competitors proved that quality was not an affluence issue, and the Internet has proven that the business environment is truly global. To be local and global is called Mass Customization. The new Context is here to stay. The only question to answer is, "Can you transform the Business of Your BUSINESS to meet the new requirements?"

This book describes the process of Transformational Leadership. The major contextual issue that limits your journey is Mass Production Thinking. In 1922, Mass Production Thinking did not exist. In 1972, it was well embedded in every executive’s mind. In 1992, it became obsolete to think that way. As with a three-year-old computer, an executive that is programmed with Mass Production Thinking is technologically obsolete. Likewise, managers who grew up in the 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s are in need of significant upgrades. I call this phenomenon burned out and still shining.

Many of the chapters in Transformation Change will challenge you to think about what you think about. This is not an insult to your intelligence; rather, it is a challenge to your awareness. People are not aware of how they think or why they constantly repeat predictable behavior patterns. The Context of your existence makes your thinking patterns instinctive and comfortable. While you read this book, you can be easily frustrated thinking outside your existing Context.

Experience this example. Draw a Roman numeral five. Pick up a pen and do it. Now, with one line make it a six. Simple. Now draw a Roman numeral nine. Come on, do it. Now, with one line make it a six. If you are stuck, the issue is contextual. I will give you the answer, but try to find the answer and you will feel the frustration of contextual blindness.

Transformational Change is frustrating because it always involves a shift in Context. This book was neither easy to write, nor will it be easy to read. Most people read and think within the Context of Mass Production. I am writing in the Context of Mass Customization. Consider the Roman numeral nine again and think about the S IX you are trying to create. Can you see it yet? The word line does not mean straight line just as a network does not define the lines of authority within the new business environment.

I have chosen to embed my credibility as an author in the book rather than documenting it here in the "Introduction." I prefer that you not judge my credibility as an author or consultant, rather as a consumer, who like you, is confronted by Mass Production Thinking every day of our lives. It is amazing how many times a day we tolerate being over-promised and under-delivered. After I determined that Mass Production Thinking would always over-promise me as a customer, I concluded that Mass Production Thinking is not based on serving customers.

As you read, try to separate yourself as a leader, parent, manager, or executive from the Mass Production organization or mechanism that constrains you. This isn’t easy. It is so logical to argue for the way you have always managed and look for ways to do it better. The level of awareness about Mass Customization is less than 10 years old. Many executives don’t even know the term. Some who have heard it believe that Mass Customization is a new strategy within the Context of Mass Production.

Please read carefully because contextual awareness is blinding. To help you, I have intentionally included many statements as Key Points. While these statements seem redundant at times, they all contain contextual shifts in thinking.

Finally, for those who clearly see the world of Mass Production Thinking and choose to believe it will always be that way, you are right. A return on investment formula will drive your decision making and this is also right. To set goals and measure progress is important and critical to success. This book is not about what’s right or wrong. That approach would reduce the book to a polarized debate within Mass Production Thinking. The new business environment is possible. It is neither right nor wrong. It is different.

If you get confused by what appears to be semantics or doubt the validity of the statements I make, you have two choices: read on or find a Mass Production Thinking book to read. You can easily eliminate me and ignore the message. They tried to ignore Christopher and Ralph and you too can throw this book away. If you read on, you will come to the answer. Please rest assured I mean no harm to you as a Mass Production Thinker or to your company. The examples I provide are real; the actual company names don’t matter. Companies that are caught in the snare of Mass Production Thinking all behave the same way. It’s all a matter of structure. Please be clear that the choice to create what you want to be within the new environment is yours.

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