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Leading Transitions through Change

Do you love seasonal transitions? As a PMP and organizational change management professional I love seasonal transitions for the natural break they provide. Seasonal transitions provide analogies and examples of the adoption of change. Some enjoy seasonal transitions more than others. While I love the fall leaves color change and crisp temperatures, I also feel a bit of regret or longing for the activities of summer. This gives me a great case of the “should’ves”. I should’ve gone to the beach, climbed sand dunes, and picked strawberries. The “should’ves” are full of regret for opportunities not pursued.  And yet, I love our Michigan fall season - the bright brilliance of red and orange leaves against a remarkably blue sky, doughnuts with apple cider, and football. 

I’m obsessed with helping people adopt change, which is why I examine my own relationship with seasonal transition. When helping stakeholders and leadership navigate change, recognizing the natural loss or the “should’ves” which often accompany change may lead us in one of two directions. 


The first direction (green line in the above illustration) is that of using effective change management which includes the relevant and relatable story of change, engaging leaders, advanced communication, development/training and reiterating the “why” of the change.

The second direction (black line in the above illustration) has a much larger performance dip, it is not clear to stakeholders how to move forward and why they must adopt the change. 

Organizations which don’t address the struggle of stakeholder adoption are doomed to fail in the implementation and adoption of change.

Our workplaces, projects and organizations are different. A transition has occurred and the days of being in-office, physically closer together are gone. Alignment is crucial, whether it’s with a methodology or framework, it can help to collectively work through projects and reach successful adoption. When you use a common model, everyone is able to navigate the change more successfully.

In a few months, the brightly colored leaves will become a brown carpeting, waiting to be raked and removed as the snow begins. I may be making my list of “should’ves” as we transition into winter. The holidays will be a tempting beacon of hope to lead me through this natural transition. As change and project professionals, what beacons of hope, what benefit of change can we provide to stakeholders as they encounter transitions on the journey to adopt the future state?

Recognized as one of the Top 30 Global Guru’s in Organizational Culture both in 2021 & 2022, April is an internationally known organizational change management expert who has implemented change for government, health care, higher education and corporate clients. April is the author of four books including the bestsellers “READY, Set, Change! Simplify and Accelerate Organizational Change” and “READY, Set, CCMP™ Exam Prep Guide".  Contact her at [email protected]