By Prem Prakash Akhauri (Head HR, L&T-MHPS)
Change is an all pervading phenomenon while everything changes around and within us every moment. We confront them naturally since we are born to adapt and survive in this world. Nature has gifted us with instincts and capabilities to manage the changes and adapt to the challenges posed by changes in the environment around us. The adaptation process is reactive as we learn to survive in this ever changing world. This is how living entities survive in the world.
Then why there is so much trepidation in organizations over change phenomenon. Why do we caution people to become proactive when naturally we learn to react to the stimuli to adapt to the changes? Does it have to do with the fact that organizations are non-living entities and are programmed to survive through strategies and plans whose outcomes are unpredictable? This is where Darwin steps in with his postulates: struggle for existence and survival of the fittest applicable to any living organism on earth! I would extend these axioms to organizations which are basically agglomeration of humans and breathe the air that culture and strategy allows them to.
The struggle for organizations is to overcome competition, stay ahead in the race, and perpetuate their core competency through constant evolution and adaptation. The problem is not with change per se; it is with the pace, magnitude and unpredictable nature of change. Fall of Kodak, Nokia, et al are memorable case studies and insights into organization’s inability, rather complacency or strategic misdirection that proved ineffective to recognize and deal with the change imperatives.