Change is on the outside, transition is on the inside. Change is observable and quantifiable, transition tends to be hidden and hard to pin down. Change has a beginning and an end whereas transition is an ongoing process. Change and even the implication of change initiates the transition process. We see this everyday in our own and others’ lives when a decision at work causes a shift in reporting structure for example. The memo goes out and the information is announced, the office location is re-assigned and the group meeting is scheduled. All of this is observable and quantifiable. What is not seen are the myriad transitions that everyone directly and indirectly involved are now going through. There are several excellent management models for facilitating change but few for transition. This internal and invivsble process is at the heart of failed change, stress related diseases in organizations and no end of problems facing organizations daily. The key to understanding transition is that it almost universally produces isolation. The isolation stems from fear – feaar of showing emotion, fear of the unknown, fear of losing a job, etc. The core answer to better mangement of transition is exploration and sharing. The stories of people “going postal” after change or even the suggestion of impending changes, is directly attributable to isolation that has been allowed to festaer out of control. In our Change and Transition seminars, we equip individuals and managers with the tools to not only implement change but to also effectively help themselves and their people manage the transitions. Next post – how anticipating transition can help to initiate change!