Chapter 18

Managing Change

You must be the change you wish to see in the

Mahatma Gandhi

The first thing about managing change for an individual is to have a clear idea about yourself.

You must have clarity of vision, mission, goals and values. Most people resist change and recognize resistance to change in others but not themselves. Fear is the principal reason for resistance to change.

Recognition of your resistance and the reasons to change, is a good second step, towards developing the ability to manage change.

With clarity of goals and objectives, you can set about the task of focusing on what you need to change in order to stay on course to achieve your aspirations and dreams.

The next and probably the most difficult task is anticipating external factors that will cause change, in order to be better prepared to handle it. The immediate external factors are family, friends, your profession or business, health. Here the need is to establish clarity of roles, relationships and mutually acceptable goals.

Unforeseeable circumstances like the forces of nature, governmental regulations, technology, etc should be taken into account, but not be dwelt upon too long to result in inaction.

Change forces choices upon up us and one should muster the courage to accept the need to make the choices. You should leverage the positive changes that arise and cope with the negative ones.

It is important to recognize that most change is for the better. You need to go through the difficult process of acceptance. This spurs positive action towards change.

In an organizational context, rapid and extensive changes face organizations. They need to adapt to the rapid changes being dictated by the forces of globalization, consumer demands, technology, competition, etc.

The most important measures that heads of organizations could take in order to survive on a long term basis is to make the decision making process of change to be an organization-wide one. They need to create a culture of continuous proactive change and to focus on the imperatives. They need to set clear objectives and time frames to implement change.

This is easier said than done. Respect and trust of all ideas and views is critical. There should be an empathetic approach to dissension or resistance.

Finally you should look for and leverage synergies internally and externally to optimize the benefits of change.

Everyone cannot adapt to change at the same pace. Researches have found that those exposed to turbulent environments cope with change, faster.

Thus you should focus on your objectives and goals put in the special effort to leverage the benefits of change, to your advantage. You should not fear change but embrace it.

The only permanence in

life is change. So it is best

to adapt, and benefit,

from change.