Snapshots & summary of When Change Happens…

Vinod Kumar
CEO & MD, Tata Communications

Managing change is both a complex and a simple undertaking.

The complexity is due to shifting market dynamics that confound the clarity a change-initiative needs to drive it to success. Underlying are the cultural and organisational dynamics that are often buried in rhetoric and sales pitches that blur the process further.

The simplicity lies in understanding the fundamental reality that individuals do not resist change, they resist the perceived impact that the change will have on their span of control. It is due to these fears and doubts that employees question their competencies. Unsure of what their new roles will entail, the clouds of uncertainty shroud their ability to grasp that they can be equally, if not more successful, in their new responsibilities.

Change management and change leadership have seen many methods, approaches and case studies that focus on enhancing the probability of success.

What has been overlooked are the practical insights and experiences that leaders of change have been unable to disclose because of the confidentiality that professionals need to exercise in the sharing of these insights.

It is in this context that this book offers a different approach which overcomes such barriers. By creating a fictional organisation and deliberately masking the industry and characters, the author, Lalit Jagtiani, is able to reveal real experiences in a simple but compelling fashion.

Power play, the negotiating of politics, the ability to harness personal aspirations to drive business goals, leveraging equity to win over leadership to deliver the next critical steps in the transformation reflects the author’s understanding of the change process.

Lalit does not theorize about change. His work on change is pragmatic. Simply saying, the approach and content of Lalit’s book demystifies transformation. Readers will realise the protagonist is experiencing a metamorphic change internally: He questions it, he negotiates with it, he prioritizes replacing planned actions with another approach. This sensitivity that the protagonist displays, his hesitancy while confronting his own dilemmas and the excitement he feels over team bonding displays the human side of change.

The on-the-ground realities one grapples with during change management interventions that are woven into the plot make the narrative relatable for the reader. Within the context of my own experiences in driving change at Tata Communications to the challenges posed by the development of the information and telecommunications industry, I find this book to be both timely and relevant.

The story provides practitioners and employees with real circumstances they will confront and suggestions of actual approaches they may require for combating issues that emerge during an organisational change intervention.

Keeping the storyline simple and real without dramatization, the author is successful in his rendition of transformational change.

The book brings to light the many, hitherto unexplored, aspects of change management engagements in organisations, those that ably support the theory of change contained in management literature on this topic.

When Change Happens… A Story of Organisational Transformation is as revealing as it is thought provoking. The reader will be able to connect to the simple storytelling of change the author has developed, while gaining valuable insights from the situations within.

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