P Ranganath Nayak, David A. Garvin, Arun N. Maira, and Joan L. Bragar

Learning can be initiated by curiosity (“Is there a better way to do this?”); by happenstance (“I was visiting a customer’s factory, and guess what I learned!”); or by daily experience (“I tried a modification to the sales pitch, and it worked!”). It can also be initiated by crisis (“We are losing market share and money. We must become customer-focused, efficient, and fast.”). However, transformational change of the organic and continuous kind can be initiated only by a shared understanding of current reality and a shared vision of the future. The distance between the two – the discontent with the present as well as the desire for a specific future – creates the tension that pulls people through the change process.

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