TRANSITIONS: Managing Change Disruptions


  • Pat Hendrickson
  • Diann Back


"Transitions is designed to help people understand that change is always disruptive, upsets the status quo, and frequently results in new and innovative approaches to problem solving. Based on Bridge’s three phases model for managing transitions, the simulation is designed to help participants conceptualize disruptions in anticipated schedules, emotions experienced by participants as a result of change, and the perceived need to adapt instantly to new paradigms In teams, participants create initial structures with small blocks. Participants play assigned roles with associated responsibilities as their structure is “built.” The teams are then mandated to make changes in their structures according to federal, state, and local guidelines. By adding blocks or removing blocks, new trials emerge. Challenged to look for creative solutions, participants navigate through a series of ordered changes including budget cuts, accrediting issues, and the need for student accessibility to learning resources. Throughout the three-phase simulation, participants have the opportunity to debrief with their teammates. At the conclusion, the teams debrief one more time in their small groups. Finally, the teams come together for a debrief conducted by the facilitators. The final formal large-group facilitated debrief serves as an opportunity to reflect on the activities, making it meaningful by identifying what was learned on both an individual and organizational level. "