Being the Change

Introduction                         

Change and adaptability to change has been one of the key drivers of all the progress made by the human race. By now we have accepted that Change is inevitable. Almost all things change with passage of time. Change can be anything from a simple one in our routine life to a bigger one. The examples of change can be change in work-place or change in teams with whom we work, change in hierarchy as we move up the ladder and addition of jobs, responsibility  etc. We shall see how Change is happening around us in our personal and external environment and the factors that are agents of such change. Similarly we shall ask ourselves whether we can make the most out of Change and how we can have a bigger share in pie of the Change process taking place.  All that one need here is taking small yet incremental steps towards accepting this challenge of Change.

 

What Change really is

Change can be briefly summarized as follows:

  • The very nature of Change is ‘It’s always changing’. Change is always new
  • Change is now regarded to be the only permanence of life.
  • Change is a chain reaction of small and big circumstances.
  • The world can be divided into people who are change setters and change followers.
  • The pace of change is always accelerating.
  • Change is also caused by disruptive innovation which is an innovation that helps create a new market and value network, and eventually goes on to disrupt an existing market and value network (over a few years or decades), displacing an earlier technology

 

Leveraging on Change adaptation

  • We cannot travel on the same gear throughout the life, we have to continuously adapt and re-adapt by changing.
  • Change is thus a natural gear meant to suggest us to adapt the new set of environment.
  • Swift implementation of consensus based solution and continual reflection has been an enshrined principle at ‘Toyota’.
  • Sharpened tools and new tools shall help us to better cope with the Change process. Bernard Baruch said, “If your only tool is a hammer, every problem looks like a nail”.
  • Change acceptability must arise from within, coupled with good leadership qualities. If you ain’t the lead-dog the scenery never changes.
  • Regards to accepting only that amount of change what your comfort zone permits, Will Rogers remarked: “Even if you are on the right track, you will be run over if you just sit there.”
  • Today worlds top 100 learning tools aren’t provided by Universities instead they come from new age technological innovators.
  • Daryl Conner signifies the current pace of change using a mathematical riddle, he says: On day one the large lake contains only one single lily pad, each day it doubles and on the 30th day the lake is totally overwhelmed with the vegetation. On what day was the lake half full? The answer is 29th day. It took 29 days for the lily pads to take over the half lake while it took only a day to takeover the full lake.

 

How technology is driving the Change-wagon

  • iTunes is the number one music retailer. The top-three quality carriers are all low-fare carriers. Blogs, wikis and podcasts are taking the readers. These are few aspects of the innumerable Change happening around us and much more is in the offing.
  • Open source is trying to change the regime of monopolistic software, creative applications (apps), collaboration and technological inclusivity (e.g. Akash Tab) is helping to make people participate in change.
  • The first glimmerings of Web 2.0 are starting to appear. The Web as we see today is in its embryonic stage, the new avatar of Web shall be an experience of transcendence from static to interactivity. Web 2.0 is associated with web applications that facilitate participatory information sharing, interoperability, user-centered design, and collaboration on the World Wide Web
  • Cloud computing is making possible a new generation of products and services. Products like ‘You-tube’ have been made possible only by high speed internet cloud takes this experience on a new high.
  • Investment bankers today use digitized environment and algorithmic processes that need almost no human intervention in taking transactional decisions.

 Organizational Change Management

  • To cope with Change effectively, involvement of all people is needed
  • The most basic question for the participants in Change is “What’s in it for me”?
  • Infuse positivism in the teams. Perpetual optimism acts as a force multiplier
  • Cohesiveness amongst team members is must
  • Good rapport with others who have been successful with Change-processes is must; Change is the force to be reckoned with.
  • The process of implementing change is inseparable from the factors of resistance to change.
  • If we can learn from our failures then those failures are indeed our successes.
  • Vouch for your next breakthrough for it shall be under the veil of failure
  • Eric Hoffer said “In a time of drastic change it is the learners who inherit the future. The learned usually find themselves equipped to live in a world that no longer exist”. Therefore foster continuous learning amongst peers.
  • Darwinian Theory of evolution says that those who are most adaptive to change shall survive and not the strongest or the most intelligent.

 Planning for Change

  • Changes processes need to be driven by passion, zeal and spirit for successful outcome.
  • Encyclopedia Britannica was printed in paper form for almost 200 years and enjoyed absolute monopoly in knowledge space. It was threatened by Microsoft Encarta, a digitized version. This made Britannica to rethink and go online.
  • Face Change by being prepared. Embrace trial and errors. Riding atop the challenges of change, Gen Colin Powell once remarked “Get mad, then get over it”.
  • G.B. Shaw said “Those who cannot change their mind cannot change anything; the people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want”.
  • Innovation is the best tool applied for changing in tune with time. In its punch line ‘GE’ says ‘We have continued to innovate. What has yet to be imagined’

 

Employing Change for Excellence

  • Ritz Carlton Hotel, San Francisco went a step forward and has empowered its bell-boys and attendants to spend up to $2000 to fix any customer problem they may come across while providing service.
  • McDonald’s upgraded its 7,000 European restaurants to use touch screens for helping people make choice of menu and pay with credit cards making the ‘McDonald’s experience’ more convenient and accommodating.
  • Dynamism and Consistency have been the keys of success for Google, the king of search. Google says: ‘Every year if we do the same as we did last year, consumers are going to see us not’. The Google experience is a classic example of a company committed to wowing its customers based on consistent quality.
  • Through continuous improvement and adherence to Gold-standard of quality and reliability the customer loyalty towards this motor manufacturer is so high that they can make money without offering extreme discounts. We are talking about ‘Toyota’.
  • Western union ushered phenomenal change, embraced technology and changed the manner in which money would transfer. They have outreached almost every nook and corner of the planet. Today it has 4, 85,000 agent locations in 200 countries.
  • The real leaders in edutainment are National Geographic and Discovery Channel. Similarly ‘Wikipedia’ become the leader in knowledge domain by effectively embracing the Change through cutting edge thinking and technology and collaboration of subject matter experts.

 

The Japanese ideology of ‘Kaizen’ (Change for better) says that each and every change is contributing to betterment of the processes and at the finish of each ‘Kaizen’ the improvement be shared with everyone whom could benefit from the change. Thus the recognition leading to more innovation thereby creating an incessant cycle of excellence. Small quick-wins and recognition are the tools to create momentum for higher tasks. Emotion is an important way to appeal people’s participation in the phenomenon of change. Change has thus been synonymous with all the revolutions the world has witnessed.