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Think Out Loud

The Challenge of Change

What’s the secret to successful transitions?<>p

All eyes are on Washington as President-elect Obama and his 450 member transition team plan for a new administration to take office in January. They have 77 days total (including Christmas and New Year’s Day) to review the major federal agencies, create dossiers on potential appointees, and plan future staffing.

The Obama team is preparing to begin quickly after the inauguration. This week they’re coming up with a list of Bush policies that could be reversed by using the executive power of the new president, without Congressional approval, as soon as Senator Obama takes office.

So as the country prepares to transition from Republican leadership to Democratic… from Bush to Obama… we’re going to explore the idea of transitions. We want to hear stories of people who have stepped into new positions and really turned things around. Or people who have tried, and failed.

What are the keys to a successful transition? To go in with guns blazing? Or to sit back and observe for a few weeks, or months, before making real change? According to change guru, Michael Watkins, the first 100 days in a new role are the most important for energizing people and focusing them on solving big problems. Do you agree with this?

What experience do you have transitioning a company, school, government department, or non-profit from one team to another or from crisis to calm? How have you dealt with big transitions in your life — from staying at home to working full-time, perhaps? What is the secret to successful change and to getting other to change with you?

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