I’ve been thinking about that word quite a bit during my time with IGDA, first as a member and then as I have served on the Board.
From http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/transform , to transform is:
1 a : to change in composition or structure b : to change the outward form or appearance of c : to change in character or condition
Transformation does not mean the prior state was wrong or without reason, it just means it has been outgrown. True transformation does come with some degree of chaos, and most certainly is accompanied by change, and calls and vision for change. It can be an unsettling process, but it is truly required for growth.
Our industry and profession is in the process of an exciting transformation, and along with that maturation we are seeing (and hopefully helping) IGDA move from a fledgling ad hoc organization to the next level of professional association.
There’s a lot of challenges in this process – not the least of which being that in a large, diverse, and passionate profession, not everyone has the same vision. And not everybody describes their vision in the same way – some focus more on future potential and some focus more on what they want to leave behind. Sometimes people get sidetracked into trying to change each other (being married for many years I know how well that goes ;) ). But we are all talking about change.
One of the best metaphors for this process is the Trapeze Parable (http://www.earthstewards.org/ESN-Trapeze.asp for those who have not read it). Periods of change are personally unsettling, and of course also unsettling to organizations going through them. We can get so unsettled during transformation we forget that it is actually a GOOD thing.
Sound familiar to anyone? I hope so. Otherwise you’re one very bored reader right now.
The point: a lot of our day-to-day dialog and communication is caught up in the minutiae, big and small, related to hosts of ideas, issues, and yes controversies. In the midst of this I encourage everyone to remember to step back from time to time and appreciate being part of this transformation, appreciate each other’s contributions, and appreciate, like the trapeze artist, that some things take time.
That being said, I like getting things done as much as the next person. I am very sure my next blog post will be both shorter and a lot less inspirational ;) Bob Bates is on a well deserved vacation, and has promised to not check email, so I will be doing my best to step into his shoes and, with the rest of the Board, move us ahead on the many fronts we are actively working on.