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The Essence of Life Lies in Transition

February 16, 2017 Susan Bridges

On a rainy evening in Paris, just before New Year’s Eve, I was leaving my hotel for dinner when I received an email from my publisher. Would I be interested in writing a revision of Managing Transitions: Making the Most of Change for a 25th anniversary release? While the original concepts remained timely and relevant, this was the perfect opportunity to bring fresh and updated material into this classic work. Of course I would!

Hope, Creativity, Insight and Possibility
Bill (William) Bridges and I met 30 years ago as professional colleagues, married a decade later, merged our businesses, and began an extraordinary journey. We shared a mutual respect, ideas, writing and consulting, laughter, encouragement, and steadfast love through the years, as we partnered in life and work.

In navigating the transitions in my own life since Bill’s death, I am continually inspired by the timeless wisdom of his insights. Every day brings reminders that the essence of life lies in transition—where hope, creativity, insight and possibility reside. Transition is at the heart of renewal and transformation. Renewal can occur whenever you relinquish something significant and follow life’s invitation towards new energy and a fresh purpose.

Bill left a rich legacy in his work, which continues today. He had the ability to discuss profound thoughts and observations in an easily relatable manner. New generations and audiences continue to discover and find meaning in this work. In working with organizations and individuals over the decades, I have seen and heard firsthand how people feel when their lives are affected by change, either on the individual or corporate level. They have never before experienced the types of unprecedented and simultaneous changes that they are now. There is a pervasive sense of uncertainty and fear.

The Continual Impact of Change
The workforce itself continues to change. We have diversity and inclusion of people with different backgrounds, more women in leadership roles, colleagues from multiple generations, and workers in remote locations. People must be able to think for themselves, work both independently and collaboratively with greater flexibility, be creative, take risks, and go the extra mile for optimal results.

Recognizing the need for this edition to be brought into today’s world, I conducted extensive interviews, and have presented new case studies, examples and stories. Consultants, experts, clients and colleagues enthusiastically contributed perspective, expertise and stories about the global impact of change and how it puts organizations and industries in nonstop transition.

It has been inspiring to hear how clients have developed the life-long skills to manage transitions in their organizations and in their personal lives. It is gratifying to learn from them and share with you the ways in which they harness power for continued growth, renewal, and improved lives.

This book represents my promise and commitment to keep Bill’s work alive in the world, knowing that it helps people realize that there is a tried-and-true road map for change—and its resulting transitions—throughout their lives.

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