• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • Whenever you search in PBworks, Dokkio Sidebar (from the makers of PBworks) will run the same search in your Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, Gmail, and Slack. Now you can find what you're looking for wherever it lives. Try Dokkio Sidebar for free.


William Bridges

Page history last edited by PBworks 15 years, 7 months ago


William Bridges



Perspectives On Change: William Bridges


Summary by: Lakeyshua Washington, Donna Hackner, and Kerry Barnett




Change                     Transitions

External                     Internal

Situational                 Psychological process

Outcome oriented      Related to letting go of the past

More rapid                 Takes time





1. Ending

• saying goodbye and letting go

• challenges a person’s sense of identity

• emotional—sadness, anger, fear, confusion

• “He that lacks time to mourn, lacks time to mend.” --Shakespeare

• 3 questions to be asked by leaders:

What is changing?

What will be different?

Who’s going to lose what?



2. Neutral Zone

• Sorting things out

• Uncertain

• Can be a creative time

• Fusing your ideas with the new

• Allow people to experiment

• Leader must understand these phases


3. New Beginning

• People need encouragement, support, reinforcement

• 4 P’s of transition communication:


picture (what will it look like)


part (what part people can play in the plan)

• Process that leads to the outcome

• 4 Rules for Focusing Energy: consistency, quick successes, symbolize the new identity, celebrate the new successes


Change is a process. It must be clear, definite, and predictable. Transition is the psychological aspect of change. This must be addressed in order to make the change successful. There are three aspects of this transition process, the ending, the neutral zone, and the new beginning.


All transitions begin with an ending and take time. People don’t like endings and so their feelings must be acknowledged and a time and means for closure take place. During the second stage of transition people can feel overwhelmed and confused. They are in the process of shedding the old and making the new theirs. The final stage is the new beginning. During this time it is important to focus on the process rather than the outcome. There are four “P’s” of transition communication, purpose, picture, plan, and part. Communication is essential and should include consistency in the message, ensure quick success, symbolize the new identity, and celebrate the success.



In William Bridges work on change he talks about the 3 phases of change. When a change in leadership occurs on a  school site the same three  transitional phases occur. The old principal retires and this announces the ENDING. A celabration is held and the staff says goodby to him/her and their tenue as the school leader. The NEUTRAL ZONE is entered during  the  summer months while the staff considers what their future might be. NEW BEGINNINGS are announced when a new principal is selected and he/she shares their dreams of the future. The staff welcomes the new principal with a welcome celabraton. Transistion is the psychological process the staff will go through as they experience the change in leadership.


story by Tom Davis


Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.