Working in a knowledge economy, it's all about the people — work gets done through people. Therefore, successful leaders must have effective practices and methods for helping people adapt to new ways of work. One fundamental in this domain of action is for leaders to understand the difference between change and transitions.
- Change is an external event — an action or decision either planned or unplanned — that impacts us as individuals.
- Transition, on the other hand, is the psychological internal reorientation that we go through in order to come to terms with change.
The key to successfully navigating your organization through transition is knowing how the three phases impact individuals. William Bridges authored the book "Managing Transitions" and describes the process in detail. The first phase of transition marks an ending and is characterized by confusion, resistance and loss. The second phase — the neutral zone — is where opportunity exists because you can help individuals open up to a new way of thinking, stretch their skills and welcome innovative ideas. In the third phase — the new beginning — individuals need support, reminders, measurements and rewards to be successful.
Bridges wrote about the "Four Ps" leaders need to communicate for success. In my practice advising leaders who are driving any type of organizational change (and who isn't these days?) I find investing the time to design and craft key messages around these four elements is a critical success factor.
Purpose - Describe why you are making the change
Picture - Describe what the future will look like
Plan - Describe the steps you need to take to get there
Part -Describe the part you need the specific employee to play; specify your requests
Give it a go! The architecture of the Four Ps makes for an excellent 20 minute leadership talk. Make sure you also have the 2 minute version of the Four P's ready at hand to use any time. That's my litmus test of whether leaders and managers are ready to lead - whether or not they have command of the two minute version and can tailor it appropriately.
If you need some help building out your Four P leadership talk, book a free session with me here. Helping leaders build out their narratives is one of my favorite things to do.
Carpe Manana, Seize Tomorrow!