The 7 Do’s and Don’ts of Transition

By Bryan Klopack

November 12, 2012

Election’s over…now what? It's time for the transition.

With the election in the rearview mirror, you know as well as I do that the fun is only just beginning. The federal government’s obligatory ritual is upon us and with less than eighty days to prepare, a lot of change is underway as we enter President Obama's second term.

We will be speaking with the experts on administration transitions to find key lessons learned to help you navigate the weeks and months ahead. Keep an eye out for our ongoing coverage – but in the meantime, check out video from our conference in September. Patricia McGinnis, former President and CEO of the Council for Excellence in Government and current professor of practice at The George Washington University moderated a panel discussion entitled, “Strategies for Navigating Transition: What to Expect After the Election,” featuring:

During the 2008 transition, the Partnership for Public Service presented some Do’s and Don’ts for Department of Education officials seeking guidance as the new administration took office. Here is what they had to say:

The Seven “Don’ts,” or, How Not to Survive:

  1. Start with, “That’s not going to work because…”
  2. Be a “yes” man or woman
  3. Criticize the former political team
  4. Be ready to tell the new team what they need to do
  5. Hide potential problems (not bad news)
  6. Wait out any changes with which you disagree
  7. Assume all your assumptions about the new team are correct

The Seven “Do’s,” or How to Thrive:

  1. Learn about any new priorities, goals, etc.
  2. Be open to and ready for change – listen first
  3. Be honest about problems or “landmines”
  4. Anticipate questions and have constructive answers
  5. Develop suggestions to address external criticisms
  6. Assume the best until proven wrong
  7. Focus on the desired end result/outcome and work backward to figure out how best to get there

Read more about surviving transition here.

What tips do you have for navigating during periods of transition? 

(Image via Tom Grundy/Shutterstock.com)


By Bryan Klopack

November 12, 2012

http://www.govexec.com/excellence/promising-practices/2012/11/7-dos-and-donts-transition/59427/