Transformation is a very powerful word defined as ‘a major change in form and function‘, yet in today’s world, transformation is often used to describe virtually any change.
Many consulting firms define their strategies as being transformational when, in fact, all they are focusing on are incremental improvements. The failure of virtually all attempts around the world to reform education is due to the fact that people are trying to improve an obsolete system. What is needed is system transformation and not system improvement. This is why I wrote my book, Becoming Imaginal, Seeing and Creating the Future of Education.
The word ‘imaginal’ is a biological term–within the caterpillar is special imaginal cells that during metamorphosis, create the butterfly. Similarly, Imaginal Leaders are those that can see and create the future ‘butterfly’ for their organization. Transformation requires a compelling vision of the future and the ability to create the future you see. Most leaders are not able to see the future; hence they are relegated to trying to improve the present with data from the past.
Imagination is the eye of the human spirit; it is that amazing capacity that allows us as humans to engage in the realm of unlimited possibilities where we can create and invent. All creation starts first in the mind of the creator, where they can see their creation with their imagination. Hope comes along and says what you are seeing is possible; this generates the faith to act. The creator’s love for their creation is what sustains the creation process.
Hence, the drivers for Imaginal Thinking are faith, hope and love. Faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things unseen. Imaginal Education has developed a comprehensive transformation methodology called, Imaginal Thinking, that enables leaders to see, learn from and create the future. Design Thinking is a popular methodology used to solving today’s problems with today’s knowledge, which is distinctly different than Imaginal Thinking’s future orientation. To support Imaginal Thinking, IE has created tools and a digital platform called Genius that enables the capture and creation of new knowledge needed to develop rational and plausible scenarios of the future.
Today, Imaginal Education is working with the Institute for National Transformation to establish a Ugandan think tank called CASTLE, the Centre for Advanced Strategic Leadership. We are equipping CASTLE leadership with the Imaginal Thinking tools and systems, enabling them to advise the government on public policies as well as launching innovation projects across all sectors of the economy.
“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For, while knowledge defines all we currently know and understand, imagination points to all we might yet discover and create.” – Albert Einstein
Imaginal Leaders transform their world by seeing and creating the future. The abilities to see the future is because the future is already present today in the form of strong and weak signals. Strong signals are trends that can be analyzed whereas weak signals are from the distant future with a lower probability of happening. Through signal analysis and the use of tools, we train leaders on how to create multiple views of the future. The gap between today and the scenarios of the future is where innovation opportunities lay awaiting those that can ‘see’ the future.
The future doesn’t just appear; there are many innovation steps along the way that usher in the future we see. IE is seeking to partner with businesses that are willing to support IE’s Big WHY of transforming education in exchange for the use of the Imaginal Transformation Ecosystem of solutions.
If you would like some more information about Imaginal Education, check out their website here.