Summary of Managing Transitions

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Managing Transitions book summary

Editorial Rating

10

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  • Innovative
  • Applicable

Recommendation

This is one of the most succinct and clearly written business books you will ever read. Author William Bridges uses language with care and precision, delivering the goods without any superfluous jargon. He cites many welcome quotations on change and innovation from a wide range of writers and thinkers whose work is not usually found in business books. He places these quotations in context with aptly chosen examples of recent business transitions, bringing intelligence and sensibility to a subject too often addressed only with clichés and cant. Only those who have read many business books can fully appreciate the value of such an approach. Others will merely find that they are able to read this book from cover to cover without at any point having to wonder what the author really means to say. Managing transitions is really about helping people deal with fear and uncertainty - the key is to build trust and confidence. Everything Bridges says flows from that common sense insight, and seems obvious and necessary once he says it, though it may not seem as evident to you until you read his book. getAbstract highly recommends that you do so.

About the Author

William Bridges is a consultant and lecturer based in Mill Valley, California. The Wall Street Journal has rated him one of the ten most popular executive development consultants in the United States. This book is an update of his 1991 classic. He is also the author of The Way of Transition: Embracing Life’s Most Difficult Moments, Transitions, JobShift and Creating You & Co.

Summary

Change and Transition

The thesaurus may say that change and transition are synonyms, but they aren’t – not really. Change is a matter of a different situation presenting itself:

  • A new management team comes on board.
  • A company downsizes.
  • A change in location.
  • A merger with another organization.
  • A cosmetic overhaul.
  • A changes in business hours.

Those are all changes – but none of them is a transition.

A transition is a personal transformation, a three phase process of adjusting to change:

  • Ending – It may seem odd to put the end at the beginning, but, in fact, every transition begins with an old situation ending. People have to end what they were, and turn loose or let go of what they had.
  • Neutral zone – This phase is analogous to the birth canal, that in-between place where you are not quite where you have been but not quite where you are about to be. Crossing the neutral zone involves chaos, confusion, pressure, doubt and discomfort.
  • Beginning – People who make it through the neutral zone can begin again, in a new way, energized, invigorated and prepared...

Comment on this summary

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    K. M. 1 month ago
    Very Good
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    K. K. 11 months ago
    Clear summary and take aways. Very practical suggestions and tips.
  • Avatar
    L. C. 1 year ago
    VERY GOOD

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