“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

 

 

We know that managing people and organizations during times of tumultuous change is one of the most difficult tasks a leader faces. Leaders are being confronted with serious challenges: in a quickly transforming landscape, they must be able to move their organizations from an initial idea to full implementation with little time for uneasy employees to adjust to new practices.

Our company has worked with organizations and individuals for the past thirty years, and we know that people feel they have never experienced the types of unprecedented changes that they are now. Companies have vanished; industries are reinventing themselves; and often government is transforming the whole game. Technology has completely changed how business is done. Social media has transformed the entire nature of communications. The workforce itself continues to diversify.

We have spent decades consulting with organizations of all kinds—private, government, non-profit, and social—as specialists in helping people through organizational transition. We have learned how self-defeating it is to try to overcome people’s resistance to change without addressing the threat the change poses to their world.

While the changes being faced may differ from those experienced before, the transition process by which people get through change is well-mapped. We do know what change does to people and how to help them get through it. It is helpful to remember the essential insight by William Bridges in his first book, Transitions: “Chaos is not a mess, but rather it is the primal state of pure energy to which the person returns for every true new beginning…”

In managing the transitions that flow from change, we have a set of oars that is tried and true. We can gain comfort from having insight about what is happening and knowing how to navigate through the multiple transitions organizations are experiencing. We provide assessments, skills and tools that can be easily learned and help managers and their people feel more comfortable as they adapt.

Practicing transition management skills taps into innate wisdom that people have sharpened through the years, and gives tools and methods for learning new approaches. Learning this will give you the opportunity to lead with confidence, communicate with clarity, and reassure your people that they are following a roadmap. The outcome will be a more resilient and flexible workforce.

I’m not saying that transition management is easy—just that you can do it. Which is a good thing, since you don’t really have a choice! We’re here to help.

I look forward to hearing from you with any thoughts, questions and suggestions.

 

Susan Bridges