To answer the question about the true meaning of transitioning one must first of all understand the basic principal of Newton’s Third Law.  Newton’s Third Law, the namesake of 3rdLAW, is for every action there is an equal and opposing reaction.  It is pretty easy to understand the cause and effect scenario but in doing so one needs to consider that there are other not so visible things taking place that rob perpetuation from taking place.

Transitioning is the manifestation of Newton’s Third Law as it relates to the not so visible elements that robs both the plan (the cause) and the effect (outcome/goal) from taking place efficiently.  If we revisit our past we see that even the best laid plans with the strongest conviction will often face opposition.  While it mostly involves the human factor it can also manifest itself in fruitless attempts to realign and right the course that is coming out of no where.

The Effect of Change Types on Transitioning

Changes come in all sorts of forms.  These include,

  • Incremental Changes
  • Disruptive Changes
  • Technological Advancements
  • Mandate Change by…
    • Society
    • Consumer/Customer
    • Regulatory
    • Managerial Directive
  • Discovery/Innovation (a large part from analytics insight and research)
  • Transformational and
  • Conditional (occurring as a result of manifesting adjustments in corporate structure and focus).

Understand that these types often occur has hybrid combinations and therefore one should not look upon these in terms of nice tidy unique bundles of change.

The REAL Business Proposition

Its all about speed, accuracy and delivery.  Depriving a business of any one of these will result in more cost and the erosion of confidence, whether the employees or customers. The problem with change is that we ‘unexpect the expected’ to the extent that we deny the reality that its customary.  As a result our reaction mistakes become centered on believing that we can make arbitrary decisions and that all problems can be solved with a plan.  Our inane confidence drives our command and control behavior to shout for action and expect all facets to fall step wise into lines of compliance.  Is this taking place in your organization and is it resulting in success?

The discover of the importance of transitioning occurred when looking back upon literally hundreds of projects.  The success and the not so successful, including dismal failures was not the result of a lack in conviction, planning, championing, supporting commitment or goal definition, it all started with a lack of a having a means to address change.  I chose not to say framework because transitioning is not about following a prescribed laundry list of steps.  Rather transitioning is about formation of a climate to transition change in an efficient and effective fashion.


What causes an organization to stumble about transitioning from the here and now to a new found goal.  To answer this question we need to understand that the ‘human’ is still much in control with success or failure.  Even though artificial intelligence and preemptive analytics are in on the horizon the human element will remain essential for many years to come.  Even learning machine technology will still require the skillful mind of a human to set forth a road-map of actions and reactions in order to seed the endeavor.

Change faces obstacles,

  • Complacency
  • Lack of power even though everyone has a span of power that often goes unused
  • Lack of vision
  • Failing to communicate the vision
  • Letting obstacles get in the way
  • Failing to create short-term wins
  • Declaring victory too soon or making victory appear to a win when in fact it is a loss
  • Ignoring organizational culture

At the root of all of these obstacles is ‘transitioning’.  Adopting a belief that you can life and drop change into an organization is reckless.  You are far more apt to gain success through cult organic change as was the case with the use of mobile technology.  So what was the difference between this and say the adoption of a new CEO?   The key difference is active involvement, ownership and personal desire.  I contend that mandates framed as such have already set the transitional change path on the road to self destruction.


In the upcoming weeks and months we will delve deeper into the various elements of transitioning.  Here are a few examples of topics to be covered.

  • Addressing Disruptive Change Transitioning
  • Conditioning C-Level/Leadership Change of Guard
  • Stimulating Innovation Through Transitional Adjustments
  • Creating a Cultural Transitional Mindset

Let us know if there are topics which you would like to see covered in upcoming posts.

#transitioning #transitionalsciences #change #transitionmanagement