The PTM Managing Transitions Model
Aligning Expertise with Ethos
“The art of progress is to preserve order amid change and to preserve change amid order.”
- Alfred North Whitehead, Philosopher
The key challenges facing colleges and universities are to manage transitions and to shape change in proactive and productive ways. The PTM Managing Transitions Model is designed to maximize effectiveness in balancing order and change. Expertise in management, marketing, fundraising, branding, coaching and community relations equips PTM to provide targeted consulting advice not only in formulating strategies, but implementing change. The PTM Model is grounded in diffusion and adoption of planned change theory and in systems theory and has four integrated components:
1. Assessment: PTM will conduct an assessment of the specific problem, or opportunity – reviewing planning documents, budgets, fund raising reports, and enrollment data and interviewing key stakeholders to evaluate current strengths and weaknesses, to identify opportunities for strategic initiatives, and to envision alternate scenarios over the next five years.
2. Strategy: A results-oriented strategy will be formulated in collaboration with the key stakeholders. The strategy will include a vision statement, goals, and a plan of action. Also included in the strategy will be how to manage the change so that will be effectively implemented.
3. Management: PTM uses current best-practice in organizational behavior and managing change to guide the college/university or privately-owned business in implementing the action plan. For example, a university wishes to elevate a successful academic program to the status of an institute or center and to secure funding to position it for further growth and enhancement or a business wishes to develop a marketing plan for a new product. PTM will work with faculty and administrators to design the institute or center and with the institutional advancement staff to develop a viable fund raising plan and assist as necessary to bring the concept to fruition. Potential projects could include greater diversity in enrollment, a change in status in athletics, mini-capital campaign for specific initiatives, assessing academic departments for expansion or merging with other departments, and enhancing community relations and economic development. Typically, this kind of results-oriented consultation spans 3-6 weeks and includes three visits — the first to define the project, the second to reach consensus with the stakeholders on the best strategy, and the third to monitor progress and make any adjustments.
4. Renewal: Organizations have dynamic and interactive qualities which makes it essential that responses to internal or external changes be rooted in their core values and corporate culture. The PTM Managing Transitions Model integrates what some systems theory scholars term “autopoiesis.” Autopoiesis is the characteristic of living systems and organizations to adapt to a constantly changing environment by continuously renewing themselves and regulating this process so that the integrity of their structure is maintained.
Pursuing strategic initiatives should be an act of organizational renewal and should be regulated and guided by the ethos and ethical underpinnings of the institution. When viewed as a systemic response to internal or external change, managing transitions becomes a necessary, exciting, and productive way to enable colleges/ universities or businesses to seize new opportunities, to pursue their destiny and to fulfill their mission.