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Managing Transitions: Making the Most of Change

Book Description

The business world is transforming. Stories of layoffs, bankruptcy, mergers, and restructuring appear in the news every day. When these changes hit the workplace, the actual situational shifts are often not as difficult for employees and managers to work through as the psychological components that accompany them. Indeed, organizational transitions affect people; it is always people who have to embrace a new situation and carry out the corresponding change.

The job of managing workplace change can be difficult; managed poorly, the result can be disastrous to the morale and stability of the staff. As veteran business consultant William Bridges explains, successful organizational change takes place when employees have a clear purpose, a plan for, and a part to play in their changing surroundings. Directed at managers on all rungs of the proverbial corporate ladder, this expanded edition of the classic bestseller provides practical, step-by-step strategies for minimizing the disruptions caused by workplace change. It is an invaluable managerial tool for navigating these tumultuous, uncertain times.

Table of Contents

  1. Other Books by William Bridges
  2. Title Page
  3. Acknowledgements
  4. Introduction
  5. Part One - The Problem
    1. Chapter One - It Isn’t the Changes That Do You In
    2. Chapter Two - A Test Case
      1. Possible Actions to Take
  6. Part Two - The Solutions
    1. Chapter Three - How to Get People to Let Go
      1. Identify Who’s Losing What
      2. Accept the Reality and Importance of the Subjective Losses
      3. Don’t Be Surprised at Overreaction
      4. Acknowledge the Losses Openly and Sympathetically
      5. Expect and Accept the Signs of Grieving
      6. Compensate for the Losses
      7. Give People Information, and Do It Again and Again
      8. Define What’s Over and What Isn’t
      9. Mark the Endings
      10. Treat the Past with Respect
      11. Let People Take a Piece of the Old Way with Them
      12. Show How Endings Ensure the Continuity of What Really Matters
      13. A Final Thought
      14. Conclusion
    2. Chapter Four - Leading People Through the Neutral Zone
      1. A Very Difficult Time . . .
      2. . . . But Also a Creative Time
      3. “Normalize” the Neutral Zone
      4. Redefine the Neutral Zone
      5. Create Temporary Systems for the Neutral Zone
      6. Strengthen Intragroup Connections
      7. Use a Transition Monitoring Team
      8. Using the Neutral Zone Creatively
      9. A Final Note on the Neutral Zone
    3. Chapter Five - Launching a New Beginning
      1. Ambivalence Toward Beginnings
      2. The Timing of New Beginnings
      3. Clarify and Communicate the Purpose
      4. After a Purpose, a Picture
      5. Now Create a Plan
      6. Finally, a Part to Play
      7. Reinforcing the New Beginning
      8. Conclusion
    4. Chapter Six - Transition, Development, and Renewal
      1. The Seven Stages of Organizational Life
      2. The Role of Transition in the Organizational Life Cycle
      3. The Laws of Organizational Development
      4. Organizational Renewal
      5. Choosing the Path of Renewal
      6. Conclusion
  7. Part Three - Dealing with Nonstop Change in the Organization and Your Life
    1. Chapter Seven - How to Deal with Nonstop Change
      1. The Three Phases
      2. The Rising Tide of Change
      3. Postpone “Extra” Changes
      4. Foresee as Much as You Can
      5. Do Worst-Case Scenarios
      6. Make the Transition to “Change as the Norm”
      7. Clarify Your Purpose
      8. Rebuild Trust
      9. Unload Old Baggage
      10. Sell Problems, Not Solutions
      11. Another Key to Managing Nonstop Change: “Challenge and Response”
      12. The Final Key: Increasing the Organization’s Transition-Worthiness
  8. Part Four - The Conclusion
    1. Chapter Eight - A Practice Case
      1. Category 1: Very important. Do this at once.
      2. Category 2: Worth doing but takes more time. Start planning it.
      3. Category 3: Yes and no. Depends on how it’s done.
      4. Category 4: Not very important. May even be a waste of effort.
      5. Category 5: No! Don’t do this.
    2. Chapter Nine - Conclusion
  9. Afterword
  10. Appendix A - Assessing Your Transition Readiness
  11. Appendix B - Planning for Transition
  12. Appendix C - Setting up a Transition Monitoring Team
  13. Appendix D - Career Advice for Employees of Organizations in Transition
  14. Appendix E - The Leader’s Role in Times of Transition
  15. Index
  16. About the Authors
  17. Copyright Page