Managing transitions
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Managing Transitions. Keystone AAHAM December 8, 2012. Does this sound familiar?. Consider this…. "When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves." - Victor Frankl. Objectives for Today.

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Managing transitions

Managing Transitions

Keystone AAHAM

December 8, 2012

Does this sound familiar

Does this sound familiar?

Consider this

Consider this…

"When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves."

- Victor Frankl

Objectives for today

Objectives for Today

  • Gain a better understanding of differences between change and transition;

  • Explore the Bridge’s Model of Transitions and its use and application in managing transitions;

  • Improve coaching and management skills in leading direct reports through transitions; and

  • Continue to develop our emotional IQ and grow our leadership abilities.

Change vs transitions

Change vs. Transitions

  • Change is situational:

    • Move to a new site

    • Retirement of the owner

    • Reorganization of the roles on a team

  • Transition is psychological:

    • Feelings of anxiety, insecurity, vulnerability, etc.

    • Coping with the loss of the familiar, entering into the unknown and accepting the future

Kotter s change management steps

Kotter’s Change Management Steps

  • Create urgency

  • Form a powerful coalition

  • Create a vision for change

  • Communicate the vision

  • Remove obstacles

  • Create short-term wins

  • Build on the change

  • Anchor the change in the corporate culture

    (Kotter, John P., Leading Change (Boston: Harvard Business School Press, 1996)

Bridge s transitions model

Bridge’s Transitions Model

Transition in nature

Transition in Nature

Endings letting go

Endings, Letting Go

“What we call the beginning is often the end and to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from.”

- T. S. Eliot, “Little Gidding”

Experiencing endings

Experiencing Endings

  • Disengagement:

    • Releasing the connections that bind you to an organization or persons

  • Dis-identification:

    • Removing signs of the old identity

    • Internal side of disengagement

  • Disenchantment:

    • The truths of reality no longer make sense

  • Disorientation:

    • Things are increasingly unreal

K bler ross stages of dying

Kübler-Ross’ Stages of Dying

  • Denial:

    • “This can’t be happening to me!”

  • Anger:

    • “Why me? It’s not fair! Who’s to blame!”

  • Bargaining:

    • “Can’t we just wait for a few more months?”

  • Depression:

    • “What’s the use?”

  • Acceptance:

    • “I understand it. I can’t control it. I accept it.”

Managing endings

Managing Endings

  • Identify who’s losing what

  • Accept the reality and importance of the subjective losses

  • Don’t be surprised by overreaction

  • Acknowledge the losses openly and sympathetically

  • Expect and accept the signs of grieving

  • Share information generously

  • Define what’s over and what isn’t

  • Mark the endings

  • Treat the past with respect

  • Let people take a piece of the old way with them

The neutral zone

The Neutral Zone

“It’s not so much that we’re afraid of change or so in love with the old ways, but it’s that place in between that we fear…. It’s like being between trapezes. It’s Linus when his blanket is in the dryer. There’s nothing to hold on to.”

- Marilyn Ferguson, American Futurist

Dangers of the neutral zone

Dangers of the Neutral Zone

  • People’s anxiety rises and the motivation falls.

  • People in the Neutral Zone miss more work than at other times.

  • Old weaknesses, previously parched or spackled over reemerge in full flower.

  • People are overloaded, get mixed signals and systems are in flux and more than normally unreliable.

  • People can become polarized: some want to rush forward and others want to go back to the old ways.

  • Organization is vulnerable to outside attacks.

Your task

Your Task

  • Get people through this phase of transition in one piece

  • Capitalize on all the confusion by encouraging people to be creative and innovative

  • How can I make this interim between the old and the new not only a bearable time but a time during which the organization and everyone’s place in it are enhanced?

  • How can we come our of this time better than we were before the transition started?

Transitioning breakdown to breakthrough

Transitioning Breakdown to Breakthrough

  • Lead by example

  • Provide opportunities for others to take stock

  • Provide training in innovation

  • Encourage experimentation

  • Embrace losses, setbacks, disadvantages as entry points for new solutions

  • Brainstorm

  • Embrace “loyal opposition”

Launching a new beginning

Launching a New Beginning

“Beginnings are always messy.”

- John Galsworthy, British Novelist



  • Beginnings may reactivate some old anxieties that were triggered by the ending.

  • The beginning is a gamble: there’s always the possibility that it won’t work.

  • Risky beginnings will resonate with past.

  • Some people find the Neutral Zone more enjoyable than either the ending or the beginning.

The 4 p s of beginnings

The 4 P’s of Beginnings


    • People must understand the logic of the outcome sought before they will turn their minds to it.


    • People need to experience the outcome sought imaginatively before they can give their hearts to it.

  • PLAN:

    • People need a clear idea of how they can get where they need to go.

  • PART:

    • People need a tangible way to contribute and participate.

Rules for reinforcing a new beginning

Rules for Reinforcing a New Beginning

  • Rule 1: Be Consistent

  • Rule 2: Ensure Quick Successes

  • Rule 3: Symbolize the New Identity

  • Rule 4: Celebrate the Successes

Summing up

Summing Up

Change + Human Beings = Transition

Thank you

Thank You!

John N. Snader, MBA, FACHE, FCPP

President and CEO

Brethren Village

3001 Lititz Pike

Lancaster, PA 17606

(717) 581-4383 - Telephone

[email protected] - Email

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