Change vs transformation: 3 easy tips to know the difference

Oct 25, 2021Other

Change vs transformation: 3 easy tips to know the difference


If you are in a difficult position have you decided to change or transform your life?

If you know something needs to be different is it about changing or transforming?

The change will be viewed as a verb here, not a noun.

The contents of this blog

  • Discusses the differences between change and transformation
  • Gives examples of change and transformation in business and in personal life
  • Gives you Linda’s 3 tips to remember the difference.


What is change?

Change is like a deciduous tree that changes colour and drops its leaves in autumn time. The tree is still a tree but there are changes going on internally and externally. The tree responds to the environment and its genetic makeup.

Another example of change in nature is a snake that sheds its skin. It changes but it doesn’t transform its original shape, it still looks like a snake.

Change can be described as making something or someone different by modifying it.

Change can happen in different situations

Its often considered a business term and can be referred to as the management of change. Change can work in projects with a business structure but it also needs the will and work of others to succeed.

Change needs a purpose and a vision for the future. It’s a process and often happens in a step by step manner.

It often improves something old with something new. For example, an upgraded IT system, or a new building to replace an old building.

Change can be about organisational and cultural change.

Organisational change is risky especially if it relies on finance and there are people who will wreck the project of change.

Organisational change is about a group or groups of people.

Change is a response to external pressures. For example, if the market and demands change then you may need to change the product. If there are staff shortages you may need to increase the wages or put in a new training programme to upskill current staff.

Personal change

Personal change is similar but it can result in many emotions.

Personal change is about you. It can be about personal development.

So you may want to change your job because you can’t cope with the work. This makes you feel stressed and unhappy. You might lose your confidence and find tasks like public speaking difficult. You might get general aches and pains and dread going to work. These are all emotions that push you to change.

Yet personal change can feel scary.

Some people get angry when others try to impose a change.

None of us like change at first because we are taken out of our comfort zone. In fact, many people stick to a job or a relationship because they can’t face a change.

Change can make us feel anxious especially if the change is forced on us. This is why it is so important that any change projects in a business support staff well and provide them with lots of information.

Moving house, getting married, divorced or dealing with bereavement are all big personal changes.

Friends, family and professionals are sometimes needed to support us through change.

Once a new thing has replaced the old there is a feeling of not going back and then we begin to adapt to survive.

Arguably the more influential model of organisational change was by Kurt Lewin. He developed the three-step model of change and said that we go through a process of freezing, unfreezing, and refreezing to change (Burnes2020).



What is transformation?

Transformation is about changing something into something else. It originates for the verb to transform.

Transformation can also be seen in nature. A good example is seen with a caterpillar that changes to a butterfly. The purpose of the insect has changed, the body of the caterpillar has changed and as a butterfly emerges from its chrysalis, it is nothing like the original caterpillar.

Another example of a transformation in nature is a tadpole to a frog. There are many changes and they are big changes so big that the creature takes on a completely new form.

Although there are similarities between change and transformation, any transformation is a complete change from the past.

It is often a larger change.

It is developmental.

Transformation replaces the old for the new.

Organisational transformation

So a transformation in a business might mean that with a new management team the whole ethos of the business changes. Staff will change and even the branding and the name of the business could change. An example of this might be a business that has transformed to become eco-friendly.

Personal transformation

Personal transformation is the same as a transformation in nature or an organisation. It needs a mind-shift change because core beliefs and behaviours must change.

Transformational change is powerful and there is no going back.

When you choose not to want to carry on the same behaviours because you can see that other things are better you have transformed your behaviours and your thinking.

3 Tips to remember the difference 

  1. Change is a process where the fundamentals stay the same, while in transformation everything changes.
  2. The letter ‘C’ for change comes before the letter ‘T’ for transformation. So change is a start and a process while transformation is the final change.
  3. Change can modify your behaviour, while transformation can alter your beliefs and desires.


Linda from Awaken the Change helps people to change and transform their lives by helping people to understand their issues, and taking action towards their goals. Contact Linda for a free initial consultation and find out how you can feel better in your life.

Awaken the Change is about Focusing Minds for Positive Results

Awaken the Change is a self-help service providing education and information.

Linda sees clients at her practice in Bournemouth, in the UK. She is also happy to provide online help via webcam for hypnotherapy, counselling and supervision. Counselling and supervision can also be provided by telephone.

Linda is an accredited trainer and supervisor.

Linda Witchell
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