“We’re all going to Krispy Kreme,” said Barry Cameron, co-author of The Principles.
None of his staff had been on a field trip since elementary school. As a result, the Crossroads Christian Church employees were surprised when senior pastor Barry Cameron announced in February 2004 that everyone was going on a one hour, onsite visit to the local Krispy Kreme doughnut shop.
Question: What was the pastor’s purpose for taking the church staff to Krispy Kreme?
Answer: Prepare for a transition from the existing 15-acre site to a new 150-acre campus. Staff ate, watched, learned and made notes of Krispy Kreme’s successful practices. People adapted what he or she saw to their job or ministry. As documented in a popular new book Making Dough, every organization can benefit from practicing Krispy Kreme’s commitment to quality, consistent standards, practical uses of technology and giving back to the community. People telling other people about a positive experience is the most powerful, least expensive advertising Krispy Kreme, Crossroads Christian Church or any organization can buy.
Transitions are the process of moving from one situation or activity to another. They are mini-life cycles that take us from the familiar to the unfamiliar. Some transitions we initiate. Others are cast upon us. Are you or your organization experiencing a transition?
Types of transitions:
As discussed in my article Recession or Transition?, recessions are easier to handle than transitions. Recessions are predictable. Transitions are not. There are decades of records showing bear markets followed by the bulls. Transitions are less predictable. Using the three steps… Terminate, Timeout and Transform… you, your organization and I can control our transitions.
Terminate Every transition begins with an end. “We have to let go of the old thing before we can pick up the new — not just outwardly, but inwardly, where we keep our connections to the people and places that act as definitions of who we are.”(1)
Noble improvement iniatives…ABM, Six Sigma, Lean Manufacturing, New Years’ resolutions, losing weight, stop smoking… are abandoned 90% of the time because the implementer never ended their hold on previous practices, policies or procedures. For some people and organizations, a known negative is preferred to an unknown positive.
Three Ways to Terminate:
Who Moved My Cheese? is a popular book about transitions. After their usual source of cheese dried up, Haw and Hem were confused as to what to do. Haw refused to change. He returned to the old source everyday, even though there was nothing to eat. His partner Hem terminated reliance on the old source and bravely ventured out into a maze of rooms. Hem soon found lots of cheese but could never get Haw to follow.
Time Out The second phase of transition is Time Out. It’s the neutral zone between the ending and the new beginning. In the foreword of Who Moved My Cheese, Ken Blanchard says, “The ‘Maze’ in the story represents where you spend time looking for what you want. It can be the organization you work in, the community you live in, or the relationships you have in your life.” (3)
Time Out is difficult. It’s when you’ve let go of one trapeze with faith that the new trapeze is on its way. In the meantime, it seems like there’s nothing to hold on to.
To survive and thrive during the second step of transition, I recommend:
Transform The third step of transition is to transform. Endings can be sad and the time following painful, but nothing is so sweet as a new beginning.
Mom and Dad died within 62 days of each other during the Fall 2003. The following weeks were filled with probating wills, handling the estate, emptying their home and mourning. But in Spring 2004 I am being renewed, for the birth of my third grandson, Addison Noel King, is expected within days. Birth transforms sadness to great joy.
“Genuine beginnings begin within us, even when they are brought to our attention by external opportunities.” (7) Here are three steps I’ve found useful to transform opportunities into successful transitions:
Can you picture any of these transitions taking place in 2004?
Recessions have a beginning and an end. So do successful transitions. I used the lyrics from a song titled “The Storm is Over Now”, to encourage me through a couple of transitions last year. The chorus says…
“The storm is over now
I can feel the sunshine
Somewhere beyond the clouds
It’s over now, over now
Heaven is over me
So come on and set me free, set me free” (9)
Transition can seem dark and cloudy. But on the other side of the cloud is the light of a new, great, exciting beginning. Are you or your organization being transformed? Me too! Let’s meet at Krispy Kreme. First round of coffee and doughnuts is on me.
(1) Transitions, William Bridges, Addison-Wesley Publishing, 1980 (2) The Progress Paradox, Gregg Easterbrook, Random House, 2003 (3) Who Moved My Cheese?, Spencer Johnson, M.D., G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1998 (4) The Maxwell Leadership Bible, John Maxwell, Thomas Nelson, 2002 (5) http://www.ceonetweavers.org (6) Paul, Charles Swindoll, Word Publishing, 2002 (7) Transitions, William Bridges, Addison-Wesley Publishing, 1980 (8) Managing Transitions, William Bridges, Addison-Wesley Publishing, 1991 (9) The Storm is Over Now, Words & Music R. Kelly, T.D. Jakes & The Potter’s House Choir, 2000