Organizational transformation

This chapter helps to understand what organizational transformation means, and what it requires.  Risto Sarvas discussed what different views and lenses there are in organizational transformation. Namely, an outside perspective, a top management perspective and a leadership perspective are covered.


  1. Cultural transformation, outside perspective
  2. Understanding how organizations change
  3. Management perspective on change 
  4. Biggest roadblocks in the road of change
  5. Leadership perspective on change
  6. Additional readings
  7. Exercise

The lecture slides for all the videos in this chapter can be downloaded from here

1. Cultural transformation, outsider perspective

Chapter starts by discovering the outside lens to cultural transformation and organizational change. Risto also gives few examples of transformations.


2. Understanding how organizations change

Beware of populism! In the second part, it is explained how organizations change – and how the process shouldn’t be oversimplified by not understanding the the various viewpoints (lenses) inside an organization.


3. Management perspective

Thirdly, the top management perspective is discussed, before going through the biggest roadblocks that are often faced when doing a change.


4. Biggest Road blocks


5. Leadership perspective

Finally, the leadership perspective is discussed separately from the lenses above. Mainly answering the question of how should you tackle cultural transformation as a leader on whatever level of organization?  


Further readings



The exercises were part of the course in spring 2020, originally done in pairs and submitted by email to receive credits from the course. In this online handbook, the exercises cannot be submitted for feedback, as it is not possible to receive credits. Yet we highly encourage you to check the exercises, and do, or at least think about them. They are best done with a pair, for example a colleague or a fellow student, but can also be done alone, thinking of your own current situation.

This chapter’s exercise is about the “before & after” of your current projects. What is the history, and what has happened one month after your project?