A major change in form and function

Transformation vs Improvement

Transformation implies a major change in form and function, similar to metamorphosis. It is all about pulling the vision for a preferred future into the current reality. Improvement, on the other hand, does not require a vision of a new system. It simply requires focusing on some aspect of the current reality and attempting to make it better. There can be no transformation without a  compelling vision of the future and a process by which that future can be created. No amount of improvement would have transformed a horse and buggy into an automobile. The automobile represents an entirely new mode of transportation that was envisioned and created by Imaginal leaders such as Karl Benz and Henry Ford, thereby transforming the transportation industry. Similarly, the butterfly could not exist in all it’s beauty and wonder if there were remnants of the previous caterpillar.

The currents state of education is like a caterpillar; it is slowing moving and constantly consuming.

The process for transformation is like metamorphosis; it happens incrementally over time.

Our vision for the future of education is like a butterfly; it unleashes the learning potential of young people enabling them to soar into their future.

If the system of education is broken, then fix it, if the system is obsolete, then transform it.


Tom Rudmik

Education does not need improvement.

Improvement occurs when the focus is on improving processes within an existing system while assuming that the overall system is fine. Improvement does not require a vision for a new system, but instead adding a new or different focus within the current industrial model. Linking funding to test results,  finding the best teachers, changing class size and implementing performance pay for teachers are all attempts at reforming education. These attempts have failed miserably and, as a result, the system of education has not been improved.

Education needs transformation.

Transformation occurs when there is a vision for an entirely new system and new structures of the future model are pulled into the present model. Transformation implies a major change in form and function, similar to metamorphosis. It is all about pulling the vision for a preferred future into the current reality. There can be no transformation without a compelling vision of the future and a process by which that future can be created. Implementing student ownership and empowerment, making mastery possible for all students, eliminating fear, punishment and ranking and developing Future Ready skills and competencies in students will all transform the current system of education. Creating a system based on these (and more) system processes will transform education.


Out of date; cause to be obsolete by replacing it with something new

The current educational system is obsolete.

The traditional system of education was created to serve the industrial age, but our world has dramatically changed since then.  We need a different output from the system that cannot be delivered by the assembly line structure of education.   According to Edwards Deming, 90% of system variation is caused by the system and not the people.  Unfortunately most people view the academic variation in education as being a true reflection of the abilities of children. This system is obsolete.


“For years I have argued that the system of education is not adequately preparing students for the world of tomorrow, and therefore is obsolete. However, this argument was merely theoretical, for it wasn’t that the system of education was actually obsolete, I just saw a need for something better or more useful. Only when something more useful is created and made widely available do we have real obsolescence. Simply calling something obsolete does not make it so.”


Tom Rudmik

Becoming Imaginal, Seeing and Creating the Future of Education

Imaginal leaders create Obsolescence.

Imaginal leaders like Karl Benz began with a prototype (the Benz Velo). But one Benz Velo here and there would not cause the horse and buggy to be obsolete. It was not until Henry Ford was able to scale the concept in an affordable way that the horse and buggy were rendered obsolete and transportation was forever transformed.

Horse and buggy

1894 Benz Velo model

Karl Benz

1908 Model T

Henry Ford

Scaling a model creates obsolescence.

Having a prototype school of the future is interesting, but one school doesn’t create obsolescence of the entire outdated education system.  However, if that prototype model of education can be scaled to the masses affordably then creating obsolescence is possible.

Traditional education

Factory assembly line model

Master's Academy & College

Profound Learning prototype school

Growing Profound Learning globally with the Imaginal Ecosystem

Creating Obsolescence in education.

Imaginal Education, in partnership with Master’s Academy and College, has created a prototype school and is now creating obsolescence of the current industrial model of education with its Imaginal Ecosystem.

System Thinking

Systems thinking is the ability to see how a system works and where the leverage points are. It is a core competency of Imaginal leaders.

Overview on System Thinking

Learn more about how system thinking can affect your organization.

Structure always wins.

A basic axiom in system thinking is that ‘structure always wins’. Out of all the factors affecting the system, the strongest influence comes from the structure that has been created. The system structures are what generate the behavior within a system. Therefore, real transformation requires the old system structures to be replaced with new ones, which will support the behavior envisioned for the future system.


The Imaginal Ecosystem contains powerful new system structures. These technical systems will support the transformation process and generate new teacher and student behaviors.

How do we transform an existing System?

How does one turn the ‘caterpillar’ (current reality) into the “‘future butterfly’? This task is not easy, as invariably one has to work within the current system structure, but not impossible. The process begins by creating the backbone of the ‘future butterfly’ in the current reality. Then the future model of education can be developed on that backbone structure. At Imaginal Education, a technology ‘backbone’ called the Geenius Learning Transformation System (LTS) has been developed that will enable a school or a district to begin incrementally developing the ‘future butterfly’. Over time this technology ‘backbone’ will cause the emergence of Profound Learning. In essence, by implementing new thinking, new practices and new system structures that will generate the new desired behaviors, any school or district in the world can transform their existing system.

Culture of ownership

Teachers will create the foundation of Profound Learning in the classroom by implementing the Profound Learning Elements.

System transformation

New system structure

Teachers will create the Learning Bank that is the rewording of the state or national curriculum into student-friendly language and can then be used to self-assess their learning. This Learning Bank is considered to be the ‘body of the butterfly.

Brain based learning

Once the Learning Bank, or the ‘body of the butterfly’, has been developed teachers are able to design powerful brain-compatible learning experiences for students. These learning experiences, called Learning Adventures, metaphorically represent the wings of the butterfly.

Learning Bank Development Roadmap

The Learning Bank development is a seven step process, download the PDF for more information.

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