We defined each stage so that we can move more effectively through this cycle. In the end, we expect to achieve the success that comes with good decisions and sustainable change. Part of the reason the second book was written was to recognize how to make transition and the resulting change great.
You can have great transition that results in harmful change or change that may not be as productive as it could be because of a faulty transition. You can also have great transition that should have never been made in the first place.
When I began writing Why Change Fails, I sat with my mentor and pastor and discussed the significance with the book of Proverbs. You’ll see the truth that this book reveals throughout because as I read the proverbs with the intention of dissecting failure, I couldn’t run away from the truth. I hope you read my book with the same success.
The Transition Game was written about “doing transition” well so that you can be productive and go to the next step, task, or level. We traveled through the four stages between “Status Quo” and “Commitment to Change”. Those four stages are:
Getting Over It – The title of this stage explains how we need to understand our own nature that would keep us mired in the Status Quo. This stage also covers the catalysts that cause change and knowing what the Status Quo was all about in the first place. This phase talks to what we can get rid of so that we can move out of the Status Quo.
Fear – The Fear stage may be the most difficult with any transition. Fear paralyzes some people. Fear may be a reason that people stay where they are or are rebellious against (or for) change. However, Fear can be useful. Fear can be used to ensure that moving from the Status Quo is, initially, important enough and can be successful in the long run.
Balance – This is the most forward-looking of any stage. This is where the real Transformation starts to happen. Balance requires flexibility and an eye on where the change leads. It begs the question, “Am I getting to my goal more effectively?”
Doing What It Takes is the implementation phase. This stage is where the action of Performing With Intensity and Doing the Right Thing for the Right Reason takes place. This stage also sets up roadblocks to never go back to the Status Quo and to stay ahead of the curve so focus can be kept on what's ahead. Lastly, this stage “shares”. For change to be successful, it cannot be selfish. This stage passes it on.
All of these stages define the steps to move toward the fifth and final stage:
Commitment to Change – Asking the question, “Is your decision something that's just a good idea or is this something that you're committed to?” is what the fifth stage is all about. If change is just nice to have, the commitment may not exist. If true commitment exists, any hurdles can be overcome to get to the desired change.
In the book, Commitment to Change, we explored the 5 Cs that transform your life and business: Consideration, Certainty, Charter, Character, and finally Commitment.
I would have had Why Change Fails first, Commitment to Change second, and The Transition Game third. I really should have written this book, Why Change Fails, first.
When my dad taught us to ski, he would first teach us why change fails. He would initially teach us how to get up from a fallen position. It was inevitable that we would fall.