Transition Model – my experience with changes and change management
In the last few years I had many opportunities to experience changes and change management.
From a professional point of view these were:
- Reinforcing Baxter Austria’s financial management after the Immuno acquisition
- Synchronizing financial structures, processes, tools and solutions after the Glaxo-Wellcome Smith-Kline-Beeham Merger
- Implementing JDEdwards and Hyperion Pillar at Baxter Austria and Glaxo Smith Kline
- Optimizing financial procedures and developing finance organization with various companies and NPOs
There have been many changes in my private life too, the most recent is the relocation from Vienna to Bucharest.
In general I have a positive attitude towards changes, but it always depends on the environment and the circumstances.
Based on Bridges’ transition model* I will describe what project or change managers on the one hand and stakeholders on the other hand can do to enable change.
Ending, losing and letting go:
Most changes lead to losses; therefore it is important to find out what these losses are and who is affected. Then these changes / losses can be communicated clearly and compensations can be identified.
When you are a stakeholder but together a list with the impacts and think what you could get instead. E.g. When moving from an office to open space working one day from home could be a good solution to everyone.
Even if this is not your change project, take ownership in order to create freedom for you. Move from the circle of (your) concern to the circle of (your) influence.
If you are the project / change manager make sure you involve all stakeholders as early as possible, so that they can have an influence, take ownership and create freedom for them.
Symbols help to end and let go; We have taken a Gugelhupf mold (check Google images) to Bucharest.
Don’t forget the farewell party before moving. Of cause also all other change project need to appreciate and celebrate the “old”.
The neutral zone or wilderness:
To me this phase has always been the most difficult one in professional change projects but also when moving to Bucharest this summer. There is just so much to do and there is no safety and certainty.
My message to all change managers:”Communicate! Communicate! Communicate!”
I also consider change agents – people from various departments who support their colleagues – quite helpful.
And to all stakeholders:” You are not the only one; take your time and get all the support you need“.
The new beginning:
Celebrate! The welcome party of the new office building, the Go Life, the merger, there is always something to be proud of and grateful for.
Symbols are helpful to show the common efforts; this can be a nice pen with the project logo or a chocolate (like – http://www.zotter.at/de/eigene-edition/ihre-firmenschokoladen.html);
Very important for all change management: thank everyone!
And to all stakeholders: “congratulations – you managed the transition!”
*The Transition Model was created by change consultant, William Bridges, and was published in his book “Managing Transitions.”