Rishad Tobaccowala on Change

“In order to be able to become a butterfly, the caterpillar has to fall apart completely, decompose down to its very essence, devoid of any shape or consciousness. It literally dies. There is nothing left of it.”

Kirstin Vanlierde

I had a great conversation with Rishad today and these are a few notes:

  • Making change happen means that a lot of disruption can and will occur in oneself — and also with/to the people near the change agent. We can liken this transition to the awkward and “unbeautiful” stage of the chrysalis.**
  • “In the transition from a caterpillar to a butterfly, there’s a quite ugly moment that happens in between.” —RT
  • Longstanding organizations have “yeasts” — people who have been around, and quietly enable others to thrive.
  • “They’re like a yeast that makes the beer ferment.” —RT
  • At times there are leaders who understand an organization’s culture deeply, and yet at the same time can transform them and aren’t held back by their past.
  • “They have roots and wings.” —RT
  • Great transformations are often visible only on the surface, but don’t underestimate the tectonic shifts that can lie underneath.
  • “The cake looks the same. But the ingredients are quite different these days.” —RT