Visit to discover Indian blogs DISCREET ENVISAGEMENT: STEERING THE CHANGE - My Approach

Saturday, April 21, 2012


Me standing over at my cubicle and addressing the team is a common sight at the workplace these days. I have sessions with the team about the recent developments in the organisation and also about the road ahead for all of us as a team. The anxiety that prevails within the team is an obvious function of the CHANGE. 

In the coarse of managing a young and big team in the times of the change, I realized that the best way to bring about change is to first gain the support of the people who will be affected by it and the people whose support you need to implement it.

I scratched my head in an effort to realize the best way (whatever extent possible) to manage and bring about the change in an organisation. One question that kept coming to me as a manager of change was that, " What factors should any CHANGE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM have to make it successful?"

It came up that an ideal system should have following factors which can ensure that the brought about change is successful and meets its objectives. 

I have tried to define it as a 4-tier process:
  • Guidance
  • Communication
  • Empowerment
  • Culture
I will make an attempt to describe the above factors in context to Change Management in any typical services organisation of today.

People ought to follow leaders who have the ability to guide them to the final goal / destination. The leaders of the change ought to ensure that they are directing the people in the right direction and everyone is aligned to the cause. When the people are aligned, the decision making is lot more easier and effective.

This is one of the most important factor contributing in the success or failure of change. With lack of communication, even the best of change management initiatives might turn out to be complete disaster. Communication can have many forms, carried out in many phases, have many levels to it; still it is very important to continuously keep spreading the right information to people, customers, vendors and the business world.

In CHANGING systems, the major anxiety people have is about delegation of authority - whether they will be empowered to take decisions the way they use to earlier? 
An ideal system should empower people at the lowest possible level, which increases the productivity and motivation of the employees. It also develops the next layer of managers who can work independently and pull of things in crisis situations with help of innovation.

A common set of values, beliefs, language and perspective helps people with diverse backgrounds to work together in harmony. The same people working under different cultures - even in the same organization - can act in very different ways. Change culture, and you change the way people act!!
A common thread of culture binds people together and facilitates achieving the organisational goals.

Let's try to understand further how above 4-tier approach can help in devising an ideal Change Management system.

  • To clearly define Where we are and where we have to go
  • Map the current process and systems
  • Concentrate on people
  • Define the strategy with clear scope and expected results
  • Device clear parameters for measurement
  • Sustain the current best practices

  • Share with the stakeholders about what is happening
  • Daily and Monthly meetings
  • Frequent/periodic descriptive mails from leaders
  • Sharing of remarkable data and information
  • Open door policy
  • More time on work floor than cabin

  • Confidence to employees that they can do what they need to do
  • Delegation of authority to sub-ordinates
  • Involvement of supervisors/managers in system development
  • Direct access to superiors
  • Assigning responsibilities as well as functional authority to employees

  • Clearly demarcate how to do things around in the organisation!
  • Plans for individual, team and organisational growth
  • Encourage MBO (Management By Objective)
  • Device effective training & development programmes
  • Hold confrontation meetings
  • Linkage of salary to performance and productivity
  • Employee Surveys
  • Rewards & Recognition

Many organisations have implemented some or all of the above initiatives to ensure effective Change Management processes in the past. In my understanding, an effective system not only assists in effective change management rather it helps in positive transformation of the organisation and facilitates the growth.

My organisation; Vertex Software is integrating with 5 other subsidiaries in India and start operating as one brand - NTT Data, which is a 16Bn dollar organisation and also the 7th largest IT Company in the world.
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