Navigating times of transition

The Transition Model was created by change consultant, William Bridges, and was published in his 1991 book “Managing Transitions”. The main strength of the model is that it focuses on transition, not change. The difference between these is subtle but important. Change is something that happens to people, even if they don’t agree with it. Transition, on the other hand, is internal; it’s what happens in people’s minds as they go through change. Change can happen very quickly, while transition usually occurs more slowly. You move from one “normal” to an altogether “new normal” in three stages.   Stage 1: Ending, Losing, and Letting Go This stage is often marked with resistance and emotional upheaval, because people are being forced to let go of something that they are comfortable with. At this stage, people may experience these emotions: fear, denial, anger, sadness, disorientation, frustration, uncertainty. A sense of loss. People have to accept that something is ending before they can begin to accept the new idea. If you don’t acknowledge the emotions that people are going through, you’ll likely encounter resistance throughout the entire change process. Stage 2: The Neutral Zone In this stage, people affected by the change are often confused, uncertain, and impatient. Depending on how well you’re managing the change, they may also experience a higher workload as they get used to new systems and new ways of working. Think of this phase as the bridge between the old and the new; in some ways, people will still be attached to the old, while they are also trying to adapt to the new. Here, people might...

Encourage change at work

Reactive organizations – and the people who work in them – are driven by circumstances and their environment. They are acted upon, rather than taking control and being in control. In a reactive organization, it should come as no surprise to find that people are constantly stressed and putting out fires instead of working together to blaze a path forward. There may be danger or opportunities ahead, but if no one no-one rises above the trees to see if the organisation is heading in the right direction, then you, your colleagues and  your organization will consistently be struggling to face them. What if you changed the way you approach your work so that you’re not constantly being acted upon, but, instead, driving the action? In Stephen Covey’s best selling book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, he encourages people to become more proactive and less reactive. “Reactive people are driven by feelings, by circumstances, by conditions, by their environment. Proactive people are driven by values – carefully thought about, selected, and internalized values. Proactive people are still influenced by external stimuli, whether physical, social, or psychological. But their response to the stimuli, conscious or unconscious, is a value-based choice or response.” Being proactive enables people and organizations to not simply pick the best path, but to also be prepared for opportunities and obstacles along the way. When you make a conscious choice to be proactive at work, you look for ways to take the initiative, to come up with new ideas and new ways of doing things. An approach like this can ultimately save money, time, and resources;...

Strategies for managing yourself through change

People who deal naturally well with change tend to have some important common skills and abilities. What can you learn form them when it comes to your own change challenge? 1. Those who naturally deal well with change tend to have a high ambiguity threshold Our Tip: Change is inherently ambiguous, so deal creatively with change and have a high tolerance for uncertainty and ‘shades of grey’. 2. Those who deal with change often have a constructive internal dialogue Our Tip: See yourself as pro-active, with the ability to control elements of the situation in which you find yourself. Some circumstances cannot be changed, but the way you respond to them is always a choice. Use your sphere of influence, however small, and in doing so you will expand it. Focus on solutions. 3. Those who deal well with change have a high reserve of emotional, physical and mental energy Our Tip: Take care of yourself physically and mentally so that you too have reserves to draw from when things get tough.   Areas to improve your skills: Reflect on your own core values and your mission in life. A sense of purpose is essential to success and effectiveness, and you need a clear idea of what you are doing and why. Be persistent. Success is usually more to do with tenacity than genius. Persistence is only possible when you have clarified your values and successful people keep going, finding new and creative ways to achieve a positive outcome. Be flexible and creative. Persistence does not mean pushing through by force. If you are unable to achieve success one...