Think Leadership Ideas

7 Actions to Manage Transitions

Upcoming business merger? Big shift in strategic direction? Organizational realignment? To move forward successflly, executives must not only lead change, they must manage transition.

Leading change is about gaining willing followers and keeping their commitment to follow a new vision. Efforts at leading change, however, can be inconsequential, if not outright disastrous, unless you also manage transition. Yet managing transition is often the most neglected part of a change initiative.

There is a difference between change and transition. Change is an observable event that often occurs very quickly – e.g. you get a major promotion to a new level of responsibility. Transition is an inner state – how long it takes you to learn that new job. Transitions are challenging due to the amount of energy it takes to learn new behaviors and make emotional re-adjustments. (see the previous article, Worry About Transitions, Not Change).

So how do you manage transition? Read the full article to explore seven actions that help leaders successfully navigate the shoals of transition while leading a change initiative. Read More...

Worry About Transitions, Not Change

One of the most widely accepted beliefs is that people find change difficult.

Not necessarily so! Or at least, it’s not what leaders and managers should worry about. What trips up most people, and most organizational change efforts, is not change but transition.

Change and transition go hand in hand but they are not the same. What’s the difference? Think of change is a discreet event, while transition is protracted process or state of mind. For example, selling your car and buying a new one is a change. Getting used to the new car, how it handles and knowing where all the controls and switches are located, requires a period of transition. The change to a new vehicle is quick, perhaps driving to a dealer with your old car and driving out with the new. The transition, however, could last for days, weeks, or months.

This same distinction applies to acquiring a new residence, a different job, or adopting a new company policy. The specific change is typically quick, whereas the transition takes some time...and effort.

Following are three reasons why transition is often the difficult aspect of change initiatives. Read More...

Uncertainty - Strategies for Facing an Unknown Future

People often treat uncertainty as an “either/or” situation; i.e., given a specific circumstance, decision, or strategy, the future outcome either is, or is not, uncertain. Here’s a smarter approach for dealing with change constructively: Instead of asking if something is uncertain, ask in what way is it uncertain. In other words, what type of uncertainty are we dealing with? Read More...

Leading Change

Effective organizations always have a creative tension between leading and managing. During times when big changes are being asked of employees, the heightened uncertainty and corresponding hunger for stability cause this creative tension to be accentuated. Good managing is critical, but to make changes effective, good leading is vital. Read More...