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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read!
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...
Published on Feb. 29 2004 by Rolf Dobelli

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1 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars crap
if you think this book is good, then you are bad.
Published on Jan. 15 2004 by Bob Smith


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read!, Feb. 29 2004
By 
Rolf Dobelli "getAbstract" (Switzerland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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. We highly recommends that you do so.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The first change management book I've found., July 27 2002
By 
Armando L. Franco Carrillo (Ensenada, Mexico) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Being an IT consultant, two of my main concerns are Project Management and Change Resistance. The combination of these two usually helps or dooms a project. "Managing Transitions" is the first book I have read that focuses on HOW to deal with change, instead of staying only in the WHAT should change, or WHY change is necessary.
In summary, "Managing Transitions" divides change into beginning, transition, and closure. It also suggests taking people's feelings into account, and giving them as much information as can be given, in order to get the trust of the ones going through change.
It gets four stars because in most chapters it talks about upper management as knowing exactly what has to be done, and it is only at the end that it acknowledges they may be wrong too. Since this is a book directed to managers, that is understandable. Most of its focus is in showing superiors how to lead their subordinates through change. However, it also devotes one chapter to explain how to deal with personal change.
With 125 pages, it is easy to read. In this "Who Moved my Cheese?" age, Bridges book is getting much less attention than it deserves.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Durable Insights...Practical Suggestions, July 23 2001
By 
Robert Morris (Dallas, Texas) - See all my reviews
(TOP 10 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME)   
I read this book when it was first published (1991) and recently re-read it, curious to see how well Bridges' ideas have held up since then. They remain rock-solid. His objective is to suggest how to "make the most of change" and heaven knows there have been so many major changes, both global and local, in recent years. I expect the nature and number of such turmoil to increase significantly, and, to occur at an ever-accelerating velocity. I also expect Bridges' observations and suggestions to remain valid. Perhaps at some point he will revise this book to accommodate certain changes such as the emergence of what Pink calls "the free agent nation." The book's materiel is carefully organized within four Parts:
The Problem [Bridges provides "a new and useful perspective on the difficulties ahead" and then a test case which illustrates that perspective]
The Solutions [Bridges suggests all manner of ways to apply what is learned from the previous Part]
Dealing with Nonstop Change in the Organization and Your Life [Bridges suggests a number of strategies by which to cope with rapid change, both organizationally and personally]
In 1991, Bridges was convinced that it is impossible to achieve any desired objectives without getting to "the personal stuff"; the challenge is to get people to stop doing whatever "the old way" and that cannot be accomplished impersonally. He was also convinced that transition management requires experience and abilities we already possess as when we struggle, for example, to "figure out a tactful response in a difficult situation." However, the strategies of transition management he suggests may require mastery of certain techniques which we "can easily learn." Presumably Bridges remains convinced today of these same basic points even as new applications and (yes) complications have revealed themselves.
For whom will this book be most valuable? Given the nature and extent of organizational change, I would include everyone engaged (voluntarily or involuntarily) in those changes...at least everyone at the management level. Also, service providers such bankers, attorneys, accountants, bankers, executive recruiters, and management consultants such as I who are directly associated with those organizations. On several occasions, Drucker has brilliantly discussed the challenge of managing a future which has already occurred but perhaps has not as yet been recognized. I agree with him that that is indeed a major challenge. One of Bridges' key points seems to be that it is not only possible but imperative to manage effectively the transition from a current situation to a desired destination. It is not always possible to "manage change" but I agree with Bridges that it IS possible to formulate and then manage an appropriate response to it. Those who share my high regard for this book are encouraged to read (if they have not already done so) Bridges' previous work, Transitions, as well as O'Toole's Managing Change, Katzenbach's Real Change Leaders, and finally, The Manager as Change Agent co-authored by Quatro, Hoekstra, Whittle, Gilley, and Maycunich.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Managing Transitions: Making the Most of Change, May 13 2001
By 
JR Woodward (Blacksburg, VA United States) - See all my reviews
Leading a full-time staff of 20 people and over a 1000 volunteers, and having read a number of books on change, I have found William Bridges book extremely helpful. Many talk about change without thinking about the people that change can effect. William helps us understand that change is situational, while transition is emotional. He puts flesh and bones on change.
This book is well organized, breaking down transition into three phases. Phase I: "The Letting Go Stage", Phase II: "The Neutral Zone" and Phase III: "The New Beginning" In each phase William helps us understand what to anticipate and gives us extremely practical advice and checklists.
I also enjoy the awesome quotes throughout the book. Here are some great qoutes from Phase II:
"It's not so much that we're afraid of change or so in love with the old ways, but it's the place inbetween that we fear... It's like being between trapezes." Marilyn Ferguson
"It takes nine months to have a baby, no matter how many people you can put on the job." American saying
"An adventure is only an inconvience rightly understood. An inconvience is only an adventure wrongly understood." C.K. Chesterton
Get the book. It is well worth your investment. It will help you with your greatest asset: PEOPLE.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Answers the question: Why most organizational change fails?, Feb. 24 2000
William Bridges is one of the world's leading experts in the area of managing the human side of change. Bridges originally introduced the notion of "transition" in his first book, Transitions: Making Sense of Life's Changes (1980), which was a primer on coping with the tumultuous life changes we all face on a personal level. In Managing Transitions, Bridges applies the concept of transition within the context of organizational change.
Bridges asserts that transition is not synonymous with "change." A change occurs when something in the external environment is altered. In an organizational setting this would include changes in management, organizational structure, job design, systems, processes, etc. These changes trigger an internal psychological reorientation process in those who are expected to carry out or respond to the change. Transition is this internal process that people must go through in order to come to terms with a new situation. Unless transition occurs, change will not work.
Bridges believes that the failure to identify and prepare for the inevitable human psychological adjustments that change produces is the largest single problem that organizations encounter when they implement major change initiatives.
Unfortunately, many managers, when confronted with predictable change-induced resistance by those charged with implementing a change, respond in punitive and inappropriate ways that only serve to undermine the change effort. Due to their lack of understanding of transition, they do not possess the skills to facilitate it effectively.
Leaders and managers often assume that when necessary changes are decided upon and well planned, they will just happen. Unless the transition process is handled successfully by management, all that careful decision making and detailed planning will matter little.
We must face the fact that for a change to occur, people must own it. Unless people go through the inner process of transition, they will not develop the new behavior and attitudes the change requires. Change efforts that disregard the process of transition are doomed.
Bridges presents the reader with a simple three-phase transition model that eliminates much of the mystery surrounding the human side of change. He then provides would-be change agents with a series of checklists that serve as a road map for managing transitions in the real world.
Both research and experience remind us that although a change can be implemented quickly, the psychological process of transition takes time. Transitions can take a very long time if they are not well managed. Few organizations can afford to wait that long for the results.
The good news is that leaders can learn basic transition management strategies. Armed with these skills, they can lead employees through complex and difficult changes with renewed energy and purpose, and can actually accelerate the process of transition.
With as many as half of all major organizational change efforts failing, leaders must learn new strategies and skills that will increase the odds of success. Bridges has provided us with a toolkit for managing the human side of change that is well worth considering.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Invaluable missing link in organisational change management, May 26 1998
As CEO of an organisation that lost 3/4 of its income due to government policy changes, and 3/4 of staff made redundant, this book proved a godsend. Not only did it reinforce what steps I had already taken to reinvent the business before we went out of business, but it also provided further practical advice on additional steps I and we should be taking to make the transition from the 'old' to the 'new' focus. Importantly it then it addressed strategies for continuing to manage constant change. So it helped us over the immediate crisis, and also will give useful support in the future. This book is an invaluable resource for the individual or organisation that exists in a volatile marketplace (and who doesn't?). It stresses the critical 'soft' management skills that are often overlooked, wheras many other texts address the structural process of change alone.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good book, but..., June 14 2003
By A Customer
This is a very good book, but also get a copy of "Strategic Organizational Change" by Beitler.
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5.0 out of 5 stars This is an excellent work that can guide one through change, Feb. 13 1998
By A Customer
At 50 years of age, having served two previous Governor's as a department director, I learned I was not being re-appointed by the newly elected Governor. I knew I would survive, but fear was a daily feeling. My brother referred Dr. Bridges's book to me. I read it in two days. I found this book to be one of the most helpful I have ever read. I have a MSW degree, but never heard anyone describe "transition" as he has. It was "right on the money!" Since reading the book I have informed colleagues and friends about it. I purchased three copies for friends who are going through difficult times. In every case they have said how much this book helped them. It is worth reading any time, but especially if you are undergoing a change in your life and you don't understand the reason you feel so strange.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Practical, tactical and easy to follow. Invaluable., March 17 1999
This books helps one get one's arms around the "soft" - but most difficult - side of change. I cannot tell you how many brilliant implementation plans fail because consultants and organizations did not plan ahead and take into account the material covered in this book. Checklists and clear descriptions help even the most analytical types understand the human side of change and tactics needed to make change successful. I recommend this book to all my friends - from McKinsey consultants to ministers and non-profit managers.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The first step of any project should be to read this book., Aug. 1 1999
By A Customer
The main message of this book - "Never lose sight of the fact that is not so much that you are starting something new but it is that you are stopping something old". The something old that you are stopping is the system that people have used for years. It might be the worlds worst system but it was theirs and you are going to take it away and replace it with something they neither understand or have been a part of selecting. This book helps you deal with that issue. Read it first - then start re-engineering.
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Managing Transitions: Making the Most of Change
Managing Transitions: Making the Most of Change by William Bridges (Paperback - Sept. 22 2009)
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