by Shane Cragun and Kate Sweetman |


The Age of Disruption -- the unpredictable global business environment we currently work in -- has changed the rules of the game. Constant reinvention may be exactly what is needed to maintain a strong trajectory of performance in the 21st century.

We define Reinvention as "Quantum Individual and Organizational Change Accelerated." What differentiates this definition from other change-oriented definitions is the use of two key words: "quantum" and "accelerated." These are must-have words if individuals and organizations are going to be able to align to the Law of the 21st-Century Business

Quantum refers to the need for individuals and organizations to be prepared to make profound and deep changes when needed. Accelerated refers to the need for individuals and organizations to make major change happen much faster than what was required in the past.

Having quality frameworks, processes, and tools to reinvent yourself and your organization will be a competitive advantage. This applies to Fortune 500 companies all the way down to street vendors in New York City and New Delhi. Even big government, sports franchises, and small city councils can improve their ability to make major change happen.

Three Degrees of Change

There are three degrees of change that individuals and organizations can engage in when striving to improve performance:

• Degree 1: Continuous improvement: Consistently upgrading your ability to get results.
• Degree 2: Renovation: Performing a refresh in order to make a meaningful leap in performance.
• Degree 3: Reinvention: Totally rethinking your business and your ability to compete, perform, and drive results. Nothing is off the table in Reinvention.

The Reinvention Formula: Addressing 3rd-Degree Change

We depict the Reinvention Formula as an algorithm. Our experience suggests that making quantum change isn't a random exercise. That would just create quantum confusion. Making quantum change entails following a high-level process and understanding that iterations must take place along the way. But certain steps usually precede other steps.

The best way to think about the Reinvention Formula is to view it as a high-level process flow. It shows all of the elements that must be addressed and suggests the order in which that should be done. Master change agents use a blended combination of both art and science when bringing about powerful change. The Reinvention Formula is the "science" part of the equation, and the 10 Powerful Attributes of Reinventors, presented in our book Reinvention: Accelerating Results in the Age of Disruption, is the "art" portion.

The Reinvention Formula advocates that five crucial elements be addressed and mastered for quantum and effective change to happen:
• Dissatisfaction (D): Ensuring there is a strong and powerful internal felt need for change.
• Focus (F): Ensuring there is a compelling and articulated desired future state that generates forward movement and staying power.
• Alignment (A): Ensuring appropriate infrastructure is installed -- processes, tools, structure, equipment, finances, systems -- to enable flawless execution of the focus.
• Execution (E): Ensuring a comprehensive game plan with clear milestones is in place; installing a high-performance culture that executes well and fast.
• Leadership (L): Ensuring exceptional leadership (self-leadership for individuals; organizational leadership for organizations) is exhibited; ensuring the change quotient is in place and high accountability to the game plan. These elements must outweigh the Cost of Change:
• Cost of Change (C): The true and perceived costs of change relative to the reinvention effort (physical, social, financial, emotional, and mental).

Reinvention = ( D x F x A x E ) L > C

Now Is the Time to Think Big

Consider one of our favorite company mantras that we first heard uttered by Zappos cofounder Tony Hsieh. We have it plastered on our office wall. It simply, but very powerfully, says, Whatever you're thinking, think bigger!

Shane Cragun and Kate Sweetman are the co-authors of Reinvention: Accelerating Results in the Age of Disruption, from which this excerpt is adapted. Cragun is a founding partner at SweetmanCragun, a global management consulting and training firm. He focuses on establishing Leader-Accelerators throughout the world at the individual, team, organizational, and societal levels. Sweetman is a founding partner at SweetmanCragun, a global management consulting, and training firm. She is a ''lifer'' in the field of leadership development and its application to organizations and society. She has spent most of her time working internationally with clients. Kate is an entrepreneur, editor, researcher, writer, consultant, and coach.