Transformability is the ability to recognize significant changes in one's own environment and to react successfully to them. Such reactions are called transformations.
Transformations are important in both social and business terms in order to cope with fundamental changes. Typical transformations include, for example, the climate crisis or the digital transformation. They are characterized by uncertainties, as important conditions (e.g. technologies or political systems) change. At the same time, it is not clear where these changes will lead. Transformability makes it possible to counter these uncertainties by reshaping oneself, a company or society in such a way that they can better cope with the changed environment. In this way, new security and stability can be established.
The skill of transformability can help to develop ideas of what the future could look like through active observation and forward planning. These ideas form the basis for developing - well in advance - new strategies, reacting to change in the best possible way and, if necessary, even developing completely new structures and systems. In this way, a new, stable state can be achieved through a silent transformation.
Factors for Transformability
Transformability is a very complex capability that builds on other capabilities and attributes. The following graphic gives an overview of the interrelationships.
Is the ability to imagine different futures based on concrete assumptions. This requires observing developments and proactively developing ideas and strategies from them. Futures literacy is based on facts rather than feelings or hunches. For this, these skills are needed:
Adaptability forms the basis for the further development of oneself and one's environment in smaller steps, e.g. through continuous adjustments. It requires openness, courage for change and proactivity. If the ability of adaptability is present, the steps that are to be gone through for a successful change process are often smaller but more numerous. As a result, each single change is less disruptive. This can be due to the fact that certain ideas are no longer completely new because they were already part of a continuous adaptation process.
The ability of adaptability is of central importance for building resistance (resilience) to major changes.
Resilience is used to go through changes with as few problems as possible and to withstand the stresses well. A high level of resilience thus ensures that changes cause fewer disruptions. Particularly in the case of very complex transformation processes with results that are difficult to predict, this represents an important safety net.