There are millions of hours and billions of dollars spent annually on efforts that are described using one of the four words in the title of this blog. From profit-driven corporations to purpose-driven organizations, from goal-driven individuals to chronically-ill individuals, at some point we are all involved in Transformation, Change, Reorganization, and Restructuring.

How different are these activities? As we look at each, we can see that they all involve both conscious and unconscious decisions.

The main difference between something resulting from conscious processes vs. unconscious processes is the insertion of human decision making into the conscious processes. This is quite distinct from certain unconscious processes that maintain a known homeostatic state, like our body temperature and hormonal regulation.

So, in conscious mode actions are driven by a series of decisions made by people, and these decisions form the relationships between value creators, value distributors, and value consumers. 

The field of Behavioral Economics makes it clear that almost all decisions we make are made with incomplete information and (likely) under the influence of any number of cognitive biases that blur our cognition in strange ways. Optimism biases give us confidence, but if the confidence runs ahead of abilities then failure is the outcome. We are thought to have Grit, but it could be Loss Aversion preventing us from making the decision that there is no rational path ahead.

While the unconscious versions of these activities are maintaining some form of known steady-state, conscious versions are working towards an imagined “improved” state, and there we start to see some differences in the meanings of the four terms.

Reorganization and Restructuring are often thought of as optimization of known capabilities, these can be simple activities or something more extensive. There is usually no invention introduced during these and no innovation that would be thought of as disruptive or market-creating.

Change and Transformation imply that the end state is nearly unrecognizable from the starting point. These efforts introduce invention and often require their innovation to be disruptive for them to succeed.

At the personal level, we can see those distinctions, reorganizing your living space is obviously different than changing it and restructuring your portfolio is different than transforming your investing philosophies. There are risks for individuals in all of these cases.

At Thrive, we use our own Conversational Learning methods to help individual decisions, Group or Team decisions, or Divisional or Corporate decisions.

In all cases, Thrive makes it easy for stakeholders to be informed and to participate, things that aren’t heard in meetings due to the inherent biases that are amplified in tough moments receive equal weight as the largest and most talkative person in the room. Add to that a growing library of “solutions paths” to draw on as a type of modern institutional knowledge source and the confidence you have in your decisions grows and your company accelerates as the weight of indecision decreases.

If you want to learn how to use Thrive’s method to make your company more confident and faster-moving we can be reached at

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