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This step of the Playbook is designated to last about 30 – 50-business days. In practice, it may be briefer or—more likely—need to be extended longer for particularly invasive or transformational changes. This step ought to continue as long as there is any relapse to behaviours that were to be replaced. In circumstances where employees are infrequently applying the (new) behaviour, there is a greater chance of non-compliance. You can anticipate and plan for a certain duration but, ultimately, need to be flexible about shortening or lengthening it as the change response is revealed.

Make the change; live the change

Short or long, Transition is intensely focused on implementation of the behaviour change. Old notions and systems are replaced by new, and impacted people must adjust. Change management activity is in the hands of trainers, coaches, and sponsors as they encourage/remind about the altered situation, or observe and correct behaviour. For the change manager, this period is mainly about communication. At the sponsor level, it’s about reminding and encouraging active, vocal support. Supervisors and coaches get reminded to actively support with focus on specifics of the behaviour changes. To those affected by the change, it’s more encouragement and support. Through Transition the message shifts from anticipatory to reinforcing.

Implementing the change

There is really only one Transition Play: implement the change. Everything else is, at best, Moves to perform specific tasks and most of those relate to communication being executed (as planned). In addition, there are sure to be last minute or emergency corrections to messages and materials that need to be done fast.

Like most other steps, many things representing many change management elements are going on. The step is named for the dominant change management focus. That focus is implementing the change and vigilantly supporting how behaviours that have been identified, communicated, and trained for are shifted. Transition is a wide period around mostly after a launch. The start of Transition typically has two possibilities.

The change is the first day of the rest of…

1. Launch start. Launch day is the change over day and the point at which practical transition starts for those affected by the change. Simply, until actual launch, behaviour change is just an idea. At launch, behaviour change is a reality. That said, for practical success, conditioning is required in advance of launch irrespective. While that conditioning will have been going on for some time already, it probably needs to be intense for some (relatively) brief period before the change over.

2. Pre-Launch start. More likely, particularly if change means significant behaviour adjustment, the launch will be only the trigger. It remains the day that the new replaces the old, but from the perspective of behaviour change it is just a focal point. The transition from old behaviour to new behaviour will and must be expected to happen over some period of time that begins before and lasts beyond the launch day. In addition to training, the transition period is one of intense communications to and among all participants.

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