Transformational Leadership in a Transactional World

By William Seidman We recently had an article accepted for publication by the OD Practitioner, the journal of the Organization Development Network. Our subject is “Transformational Leadership in a Transactional World.” I’ve been talking, and blogging, about this for a while since it’s a topic I care a lot about. Organizations are increasingly being driven to focus on the narrowest transactional management. At the same time, there are increasing pressures on organizations to change in important and core ways. These two pressures – transactional and transformational — are in conflict: the more transactional — day to day —  pressure, the less able organizations are to change. You can’t redesign the roof when you’re busy bailing out the rainwater. However, the evidence from various sources shows that leading transformationally — redesigning the roof —  produces transactional excellence. If the roof is good, it won’t leak. But this does not work equally well in both directions: transactional excellence (efficiency with your buckets) doesn’t get you transformation — that redesigned roof. Focus first on the transformational, and the transactional will follow.]]>

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