Wednesday, March 5, 2008



It is always easy to talk about change. But when it comes to the implementation the bottlenecks would start. Change is always easier said than done. There are so many practical problems an individual encounters during the implementation and the transformation. The article took the case studies of a Rahul who transitioned himself from a village boy into a town boy. And also the article focused the case study of Vijay the way he handled change in his life by converting himself from regional attitude into a national mindset in defence. It highlighted various case studies like Indian Railways, Ashok Leyland, SAIL and GE and the changes they have brought about while turning around the companies. The change management tips will help to cope up change at ease. The article is beneficial to both individuals and institutions in managing the change effectively and efficiently.


What is change management? Turn around heroes, Case study of Vijay, Change Vs Zones, Tips for managing change and Conclusion.
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“Clinging to the past is the problem. Embracing change is the answer”, Gloria Steinem.

Rahul was born in a hamlet. He was brought up by his grandfather up to 5 years of age and then he joined with his parents who lived in a small town. He felt suffocated to get adjusted to the ambience of the town. He refused to stay in a town because he enjoyed the peaceful climate prevailing in the hamlet and also, of course, friends. Parents of Rahul understood the psyche of the child as he was resisting change. They provided emotional support and a sense of belongingness and allowed the child to have his own friends. Although he resisted the change initially but he gradually got tuned to the environment and joined in school and began his primary education. What led him to think going back to his hamlet initially? He resisted the change initially. For Rahul hamlet was a comfort zone but town became an effective zone. The journey from the comfort zone to effective zone is not easy but a Herculean task.

From the case study of Rahul it is apparent that everybody resists change initially. Why do people resist change? It is human nature to resist change. In this context, let us know what the meaning of change is and change management.


Webster’s Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary defined ‘Change is to make different in some particular’ and ‘manage is to handle or divert with a degree of skill or address’.

It has been aptly defined that “Change management system is a structured process that will cause proposed changes to be reviewed for technical and business readiness in a consistent manner that can be relaxed or tightened to adjust to business needs and experiences”.


Indian Railways was in losses and the present Union Railway Minister, Mr.Laloo Prasad Yadav brought many drastic and dramatic changes in order to bring it into profitability. Initially people resisted to his changes but ultimately yielded and as a result the Indian Railways was turned around by bringing it from red to black. Laloo Prasad Yadav demonstrated his leadership skills and pushed ahead despite opposition. And in the present budget the profitability has increased so high that such a profitability was not achieved by any Fortune 500 company.

Ashok Leyland which is a Hinduja Group was also in financial losses but Mr. R.Seshasayee, Managing Director, demonstrated and displayed his managerial competency and business acumen and embraced changes. He successfully turned around. If we look at the SAIL also Mr. Krishnamurthy played a crucial role and brought many drastic changes, cut down unwanted waste, pruned the system and SAIL is an excellent turn around success story in India.

Jack Welch, the former CEO of GE said, “Change before you have to”. When he took over GE it was in a financial fiasco. He removed many unproductive and incapable people and minimized the expenses. He was known as a ruthless firing master by his critics. He incurred the displeasure of many employees but he went ahead with his management style, brought out many changes and now he is one of the best managers in the world and one of the most successful turn around heroes in the world.


Vijay lived in a small town since his childhood. He completed his primary and secondary education. While doing his graduation he was much attracted to the defence life since he read number of books. He was passionate and motivated by the men in uniform. He was determined to join in defence. He enquired from various friends and family members and got the information related to it. He was not physically fit to join. So he began hitting gym so that he could come up to a healthy physical shape. He referred several competitive books to get through the written tests. He applied for joining Indian Air Force. After many stages he got through all the tests and he was called for training. First, he felt very happy as he was leaving his house to become an independent man and also he could help his family financially. He went for training. His problems began there. He found vast differences in cultures, tastes, temperaments, languages and statehood. He realized that he lived like a frog in the well until then. He was eager and happy to make new friends. But seeing all people from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, he found it very difficult to understand and get along.

There were so many misunderstandings and cross cultural talks among the trainees about the regions and languages. They used to argue that their language and their region was the best. The way people eat food, and the type of food different people eat made lot of difference. He could not cope up with the change. For many, change looks interesting to hear but to feel personally it required lot of efforts to get attuned to it. It is always easier said than done. There used to be clashes among the trainees because of many reasons especially related to regions and languages. The main reason was the lack of proper communication among themselves. People failed to communicate effectively and efficiently. There were so many barriers and filters. As a result there used to be misunderstandings and conflicts. Vijay thought of going back to his town where he could live with his parents. But he never liked to run back and wanted to face the difficulties squarely. He sticked to his decision and began facing and learning the things.

From the above case study it is apparent that it is easy to talk about change but very difficult to face it. For Vijay it was a challenge to meet various kinds of people from different states of India. He found to transform himself from regionalistic tendencies to nationalistic tendencies. Language was the barrier as he was not well versed with English and Hindi in order to communicate properly. The drastic change in food styles could not be digested by him. Although the training demanded more physical and mental activities it did not disturb him much because he was mentally prepared and knew everything before joining itself. Rather he developed his mindset before joining itself and that helped him not to worry about such strenuous activities. The sleeping patterns also disturbed him in a new place. Staying away from home was the first time for him and he developed homesickness. He used to be a home bird and always used to be with his mother. But sudden separation from mother brought emotional disturbances with in his personality. So he faced number of changes in his teenage itself and gradually overcame from cultural-social shocks. He displayed lot of gut feeling, boldness and maturity and continued to stay in defence and got into the national mainstream and developed a national attitude that he was an Indian first and Indian last.


Globally renowned Motivational guru, Zig Zigler Zig said, “97 per cent of the people live in comfort zone and only 3 per cent of the people live in effective zone”. The comfort zone is always peaceful, pleasant and is mostly filled with monotony. Human beings normally like the regularities of routine and the inevitabilities of monotony. They regularly bask in their glory with past achievements.

The majority of the human would like to grow and achieve success but they are not comfortable in taking risk. Basically because they have the fear of failure and fear of losing what they have. Since they do not take risk and play safe they remain comfortable in comfort zone. Then, how can they be successful in their endeavors?

The humans who live in effective zone would like challenges and they are willing to go extra mile. They constantly and continuously lead an adventurous life. They usually have high intuition and gut feeling. The people would like to test and touch their upper limits of potential. They break the boundaries and constantly thrive in reaching the top. They have passion and vision.

The road to travel in the effective zone is not easy as it requires lot of struggles and sacrifices. One has to encounter so many problems and hardships and at times without any certainty. But ultimately the one who realizes that change is a permanent phenomenon and puts in entire efforts would come out with flying colors.


• Never impose the change as anything imposed will be opposed. It has to be gradual and systematic.
• Look at the scenario from all angles. There are always positivities out of negativities. An optimist finds opportunities in threats where as the pessimist finds at threats from opportunities. Therefore, always try to be an optimist and grab the hidden opportunities.
• Avoid the mindset that change is always is risky. If there were no changes we would have not grown as a human civilization.
• Creation of psychological ambience is essential.
• Always present the clear and constructive picture for an effective change.
• Be prepared to get into effective zone round the clock because the present competitive world demands the same.
• Be confident and positive. Have gut feeling and believe in yourself.
• Try to develop flexibility and adaptability.
• Always consider others.
• Never resist change. We would like to change our clothes, foods, places and would like to have lot of variety in our life. Then why should we say ‘No’ to change? Are we hypocrites?
• Always look at the big picture as it would focus both problems and prospects which will help take the right decision towards change-centric.
• Don’t become a change-phobic person.
• Learn to live with the realities. It is vital to know that only change is constant in this world.
• Accept the changes wholeheartedly. Don’t treat it as an enemy rather treat it as a friend. You will know that there would be more opportunities in disguise.


The institutions are realizing the importance of change management. They are focusing the same so as to ensure smooth functioning and to enhance the productivity and performance. It helps in checking the rising attrition levels. All individuals should learn that change is essential and eternal. They should evolve, reinvent, remodel and redefine themselves so as to be successful in all spheres.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing this useful info. Keep updating same way.
Regards, AshishChange Management