TR is usually not planned, although it depends on a receptive mind. It takes advantage of unpredictable events leading to novel hypotheses some that seem implausible. It begins with learning, development of imagination, visualization of problems and exploration of problem solving techniques. Communication and debate often prove beneficial in allowing the development of transformative ideas.

Transformative discoveries leading to paradigm shifts can transform at many levels including scientific, personal and sociological. They may change cultural values and transform a society. When this occurs, there are sociological “stages” of resistance preceding transformation: first denial, then anger, and finally acceptance.