02 Apr Working through transition to achieve change
As mid-January approaches for many with it comes the second week of homeschooling whilst balancing the demands of a full-time job. An unenviable task but sadly where many have been before. As a society, we transition to yet another change in this global pandemic.
Many will know what it is they wish to achieve i.e., what their home school will look like. We know the change that is required and what we want to achieve, what we expect of self. But the transition to get there is another challenge. It is not smooth sailing. William Bridges, in his Transition Model, says that we often do not resist the change i.e., we resist the transition that is required to get there. We resist letting go of the old way of doing things, the patterns and routines that were set up since March as we are presented with another challenge. Bridges speaks of the importance of acknowledging the Endings if we are to transition successfully through change.
In week two of this new challenge most enter what Bridges describes as the Neutral Zone – the Neutral Zone is characterised by potential confusion, there is no rule book, there are no policies or procedures, the flip side being we have huge opportunity to be creative, to design a new way of working and managing the challenge, news ways of putting in systems and routines to support all. This phase can often take longer than originally anticipated, we may feel we are in somewhat of a limbo, that things that worked before are not working now, holding on to resonance of the experience of 2020.
As things settle this week the hope is that many will transition to the last of Bridges transition phases “the New Beginning”, as patterns and routines become embedded, systems work to support involvement and there is a general sense of being more comfortable with the latest change.
This model, like many others in the world of change and organisational psychology, provides a good understanding of the process that we go through supporting reflection and learning. However, as Herminia Ibarra (2018) has said these models, reflection and development provide us with good “insight”, what we have to do is to “develop outsight”. In other words, we need to put these models into practice and start an iterative learning process, reflecting upon and acknowledging successes as we go. We are not going to get things right first time so empathy and compassion for self in these challenging times will prove a beneficial tonic.