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Transition: The human side of change

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Why can’t people just get with the program? They question, they challenge, they complain… and it’s all perfectly predictable and normal.

Transition is the emotional process people go through when adapting to a change in their world. It doesn’t matter if the change is positive, like having a new baby or getting promoted. People still have to let go of some parts of their life (perhaps the luxury of sleeping late!) and learn new things (how to change a diaper while half asleep).

The process is predictable, according to the work seminal done by organizational thinker and consultant William Bridges. Leaders who understand what people typically experience during change can put measures into place to help accelerate the transition process.

Download Transition – The Human Side of Change infographic at http://partneringresources.com/new-infographic-transition-the-human-side-of-change/.

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Transition: The human side of change

  1. 1. THE TRIED & TRUE SERIES: TRUSTED MODELS THAT STAND THE TEST OF TIME Change is an event: a restructuring, layoff, or new assignment. Transition, according to William Bridges, is the process people go through in order to adapt to the change. TRANSITION: THE HUMAN SIDE OF CHANGE Adapted from Managing Transitions: Making the Most of Change, by William Bridges; other sources by William Bridges & Chris Edgelow; and from Elisabeth Kubler-Ross. Partnering Resources is a management consulting firm dedicated to helping individuals, teams, and organizations thrive in our networked world. We help companies develop networked leadership, navigate change, and find opportunities in complex business ecosystems. Visit us online at http://partneringresources.com. THE HUMAN SIDE OF CHANGE HOW TO HELP TIME MORALE & PRODUCTIVITY SAY GOODBYE THE ENDING LIMBO BETWEEN OLD AND NEW People need an ending before they can have a new begin- ning. They let go of some- thing: • Ways of accomplishing tasks that made them successful in the past • Goals and priorities they previously worked to achieve • Assumptions about their job, team, or organization • Expectations about what it means to be successful The neutral zone is the state of limbo between old and new realities. Coping with feelings of uncer- tainty and confusion can take considerable energy. Yet success- ful transition requires people to spend some time doing this. It’s at this stage that transformation takes place. New ideas and possi- bilities begin to emerge. • Create a clear implemen- tation plan. • Clarify exactly what people will be required to do and how they will be evaluated. • Provide opportunities to learn new skills in a low-risk environment. • Ask people to help define new roles and practices. • Work together to identify and remove barriers to performance. Now people start behaving in new ways. They find the positives in the new state and discover how change can benefit them. • Communicate reasons for change clearly and concisely. • Use multiple channels for communication, not just email. • Clarify what will change and what will stay the same. • Establish a distinct end point. • Create temporary procedures and policies that bridge the old and the new. Forexample,during team relocation,daily 10-minute calls can help people stay in touch and on track with work. • Establish temporary lines of authority and responsibility that help people remain functional during change. For example, a department may decide that all expenditures under a certain amount may be authorized by any manager. • Engage in practices that encourage cohesion. Frequently, groups undergoing change start to fragment, as individuals pay more attention to personal needs than group goals. Leaders can help groups stay connected and productive by creating ways for teams to stay connected and updated. • Share more information than usual. Communicate early and often about relevant organizational changes. PHASE 1 PHASE 2 PHASE 3 NAVIGATE THE NEUTRAL ZONE START ANEW THE NEW BEGINNING