Football's (English) Premier League will commence next season in an interesting, even unprecedented, position. Out of the top six teams from the season that has just finished, four of them will start with a brand-new manager.
So this could prove to be something of a transition time for the top six, and perhaps a time of opportunity for those teams who are not undergoing such a change.
The writer William Bridges ('Managing Transitions') stresses that change and transition are not the same thing. They are related of course, but they have a different timescale, and different characteristics. For example, transitions will usually involve something that Bridges calls the Neutral Zone.
He says that we pass through the Neutral Zone on our way from an ending to a new beginning. This in-between time can often feel intensely uncomfortable, confusing and chaotic. Everything may appear in flux now that the old way of doing things has ended, or is no longer an option, and a new path or replacement is not yet clear. The concept of the 'learning gap' also adds to this picture - as players learn to work for and with the new manager there is every possibility that their performance will 'dip'.
But the Neutral Zone can also be a highly creative time, when one can experiment with new ideas, attitudes and behaviours. This is certainly something that the new managers in the Premier League will be seeking to do - establish their own new ideas, their own ways of working.
All of this means that the teams who are not introducing a new manager could be looking forward to the new season with some anticipation, unless of course there are changes and transitions behind the scenes in their clubs too!
So fans of Arsenal and Tottenham, could next season be your season? Transition Management suggests that you could well have a great chance.