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Career Executive Service Board CES Circle

Managing and Coping with Transitions


ROLANDO L. METIN Diamond Hotel, Manila
May 20, 2010

Managing and Coping with Transitions


All of us have personally undergone many transitions in our life During the past 9 years, we saw frequent changes in the headship of departments, bureaus and other offices.

On a less personal dimension, our country went through several transitions from being a Spanish colony for 377 years to becoming American possession in almost 50 years and briefly being under Japanese control and administration.

Managing and Coping with Transitions


Managed transition from 1935 to 1945 when we had a Commonwealth Government which was the prelude to our being nation independent from external control. We had 10 years to undertake lessons in self-rule and prepare for being a republic. Change over from 21-year Marcos presidency to President Cory after which we saw difficult transitions in many sectors of government, including the military.

Managing and Coping with Transitions

Outside the Philippines, we witnessed during the past 20 years the transition of socialist economies to capitalism, including Poland, Russia, Vietnam and China and making faster economic growth possible. From the very personal experiences to the more political, we can therefore say that transitions are not new to us. In fact, we have lived with many transitions.

Managing and Coping with Transitions


Soon we will have another one, which many would consider a major transition after nine years. A new President will be coming in. New cabinet members and secretaries and other senior officials will be named and will start coming to your offices. In spite of positive expectations and our many experiences in personal transitions and in change in administration, transitions create anxiety and temporary barriers. They may even create uncertainties and temporary instability in the organization.

Managing and Coping with Transitions

Anxiety and feeling of uncertainty arise from the unknown.

Feeling of anxiety is mutual between those who are in the various offices and the in-comers.

Managing and Coping with Transitions


Information breaks barriers and lessen anxieties. The newcomers certainly need information that will make them understand the organization and its operations at least from an initial birds eye view. Information focused on the basics, rather than creating information overload which could not be readily digested anyway.

Managing and Coping with Transitions


Basic information - Organization core mandates, the component units, of coverage - Personnel key officials, number of personnel, where they in the organization - Major Programs and Projects - Budget extent are

Managing and Coping with Transitions


Preparing separate sets of basic information like - profile of present key officials division chiefs, project managers, directors, assistant secretaries, undersecretaries - briefs on selected projects - on-going partnerships and inter-agency collaboration; - existing contractual commitments - unresolved and emerging problems. Other info may pertain to the physical assets buildings, vehicles, aircrafts, real estate, etc.

Managing and Coping with Transitions


Transitions can actually be managed. Teams are usually created by outgoing secretaries or heads to handle the details of the transition work like preparing briefing documents, coordinating with a counterpart team named by the incoming officials, scheduling of briefing sessions, and walking through the offices. Well-managed transition can reduce or even eliminate anxieties, break barriers and create an environment that slowly unfolds the unknown; clarifies expectations and ushers in new relationships.

Managing and Coping with Transitions


Career officers, who may have own share of anxieties and feeling of uncertainties, will soon realize that such feelings are largely unfounded. You acquired your positions based on fitness and required qualifications and have stayed on because of your professionalism and capacity to serve the people, in spite of internal difficulties and unwanted externalities.

Managing and Coping with Transitions


Incoming administration creates expectations for very positive changes. Anchored on two campaign messages of the incoming President: Ang Daang Matuwid and Kung walang corrupt, walang mahirap which are expected to be the hallmark of the transition.

Messages set the tone of good governance where integrity is highlighted together with competence and the continuing ability to the deliver public services with accountability.

Managing and Coping with Transitions

Taking the matuwid na daan and dismantling the web and opportunities for corruption are the most important transition After all, these are what the bureaucracy should be: Matuwid and walang corrupt. And the essence of good governance.

Managing and Coping with Transitions

Thank You