Archives for August 2014

Acing Your Leadership Transition

Have you been promoted or assigned to lead a new-to-you team?  Are you looking for a fast way to get up to speed and provide effective leadership?  A Transition Workshop might be a perfect way to ace your leadership transition.

What is a Transition Workshop?

  • A facilitated one day working session for a newly appointed leader, and an already established team

What is the purpose?

  • Provide the new leader with the information needed to make sound decisions and provide needed direction for the  team
  • Set or confirm goals and priorities for the coming six months
  • Accelerate the integration of the new leader and the team


  • The Transition Workshop was first developed by the US Military in the late 70s to address transition issues faced by newly assigned officers. Corporations have since adopted the process as one of their most effective tools in times of reorganization, mergers and acquisitions, or leadership changes. During change, organizational performance can drop for up to six months as employees wait and see what changes will come with changes in leadership. Bill Bridges called this time the “neutral zone” – a time of confusion at best, or inertia at worst, with the potential to negatively impact team and individual performance.
  • A Transition Workshop accelerates the formation of new, healthy and functioning teams. The organization can reap benefits in terms of productivity, morale, retention and reputation.

Preparing for a Transition Workshop

  • The new leader meets with the facilitator to clarify the goals of the session.
  • The new leader prepares information on his/her career to date, leadership style and expectations of the team.
  • The facilitator conducts confidential interviews with some or all of the team members.

Typical  One Day Agenda

  • Opening and welcoming remarks –  New Leader
  • Review agenda, and set ground rules – Facilitator
  • Introductions including clarification of roles – Each team member
  • Overview of the role of the team, history of the group, functions performed, clients, and key stakeholders – Team members
  • Current State. Identify information, issues, commitments and plans about which new leader should be aware – Team members
  • Prioritize action items for the new leader and the team in terms of urgency and importance – All


  • Share information about his/her work history in the organization and prior, his/her leadership style, and expectations of the team – New Leader
  • Provide input on what the team needs from the new leader – Team members
  • Clarify how the new leader and team will handle meetings, communication, performance reporting, issues management and other work related processes – All
  • Open forum for questions/answers – All
  • Clarify next steps – All

Your choice is simple: Wade through the “Forming” stage for six months or more, or invest in a Transition Workshop to jump start you and your new team forward.  Go for it!

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