It seems that everyone today is talking about change, and given the wavering economy and rapidly advancing technological developments it is easy to see why this topic preoccupies leaders now. We know that nonprofit organizations must be nimble in adapting to environmental changes in order to be both relevant and viable institutions. Many leaders possess the competencies to succeed in a variety of markets and climates. However, the emotional process of giving up “the old way of doing things” is often the biggest challenge.
In the chapter, “The Transition Challenge: Moving from One System of Values to Another,” Dean Williams outlines the necessary steps in orchestrating a transition. Transition challenges involve changing values, habits and attitudes in an organization. Williams uses examples from world history as well as politics and business to demonstrate the possibilities and pitfalls inherent in leading change. He notes that identifying and preserving the one essential value, practice or tradition in your organizational culture can ease the process of changing other aspects.
This selection is taken from the book Real Leadership: Helping People and Organizations Face Their Toughest Challenges. Williams excels at storytelling, making his leadership literature more vivid and enjoyable to read than many in the genre. His use of historical examples to illustrate points makes this contemporary piece timeless.