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4.6 out of 5 stars
Managing Transitions: Making the Most of Change
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on November 16, 2014
This will be an ongoing re-read when proposing or experiencing change. I hadn't realized how much the emotional issues affected the changes we go through or propose for others.
The exercises and charts help visualize and reflect of the realities we face almost every day.
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on August 18, 2014
Love it!
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on January 13, 2013
A great guide to guide change management in organizations - it is not about the process but the people to make sure transitions happen as planned
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I read this book when it was first published (1991) and recently re-read this latest edition, 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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on February 29, 2004
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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1 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on January 15, 2004
if you think this book is good, then you are bad.
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on November 2, 2003
This book shows you how to MANAGE transitions and why transitions fail. It is an excellent read. If you want to know how to make the MOST of change, you have to be an Optimal Thinker. So read Optimal Thinking: How To Be Your Best Self too.
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on October 23, 2003
This is basically a conversion to an organisation perspective of Bridges' previous work, Transitions. There is a lot of duplication of ideas. However, Managing Transitions is important reading for all business leaders, HR practitioners and consultants.
Bridges writes in an easy-reading style with plenty of examples.
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on July 12, 2003
This is an outstanding book. I have purchased copies of this and Beitler's "Strategic Organizational Change" for my clients. I highly recommend them both!
Dr. Burke
New York, NY
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 14, 2003
This is a very good book, but also get a copy of "Strategic Organizational Change" by Beitler.
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