Tag Archives: Restructuring

Change under crisis or constraint is compelling; but it is costly n chaotic!

abc“Change” is the most celebrated term in corporate life, leadership circles, professional and personal lives and even in country governance across the globe. Most people take pride in speaking for change, but fall short is imbibing and implementing it. Many talk about it but don’t know what to do with it.

An aspirant gets a new job of his choice and hence he loves it and puts in hard work. Years pass by and his conviction gets consolidated that he would never like to leave such a job. His management starts to perceive him as a liability; but he believes in his loyalty and one fateful day, he faces termination.

You develop a taste for sugar coated donuts and get hooked to eating couple of them every morning. You believe you are young with no family history of blood sugar problem; so, why not enjoy it. In time to come, you discover alarmingly high level of blood sugar and then you start spending time and money on medical experts and medicines; at the same time, you find it painful to miss taste of donuts.

Look at the iconic companies like General Motors, Ford, Siemens, BlackBerry and many more. These organizations did not change in or with time and hence faced blow to their businesses or serious crisis, resulting into painful restructuring, sell offs or even closure of several of their units.

Rise of right wing voices or parties in USA, Europe and Brexit are clear indications of ruling parties giving a cold shoulder to changing their policies in time and now their people are forcing them to change albeit in wrong direction.

Is it not a clear indication that waiting for crisis to come and then change is very costly and complex? Very often, changing under constraints may not be a blessing but a bane.

Why “Change” receives more of lip service than living examples

It has become a fashion to talk about change; but hardly anyone is willing to walk for a change. Celebrities proudly pronounce “Change is the only constant in Universe”, not knowing what exactly it means. Change is a continuum; not a constant. Universe actually has no constant.

Then, we are ever ready to pass our sermons how and why others should change, forgetting that if we want to change others, that change has to first originate from us. A step ahead, people talk about grand changes in systems at company, community or country level; but most prefer to be spectators and fight shy of becoming part of system. Unless you become part of change, bringing change is only a pipe dream.

In more than 90% of cases, it is a decorative word in speeches and essays, until crisis descends.

Biggest confusion is “Why and what change”

Homilies aside, herds hardly understand correct definition of change!

Nothing is static around us. We and our environments are continuously changing. So, change is nothing but adjusting to changes happening internally and externally to us with time, so that we can accomplish our short and long term goals in least time and resistance.

So first of all, to talk of change without your goals in mind is foolhardy. Then comes, identifying what incremental changes have happened in and around you, followed by planned steps to effect the change.

Crisis comes out, when accumulated changes crash the system

By and large, people like to be inert to changes, because of inertia that they develop from their comfort zones.

Changes not made but accumulated over time burst out in form of crisis or even conflicts. You or people at large than have no choice or time but brace or face changes thrust upon you. You like it or not, such forced changes are bound to be painful; some of these may be right but a lot would not be. You would react against such forced changes; but would have no recourse left and hence, these become chaotic.

Changing by choice is indeed chaste

Very fact that change is continuum tells us that we must live side by side of changes that are arising and align with them in time. This alone can make us very efficient, ebullient and agile.

Changing by choice makes the Change a pleasure and not pain; it can be a nice asset but never liability.

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Practices give repeat/peak Performance; but Breakthroughs come only when same are broken!

Good practices are great to give repeat and consistent performance. But these by themselves cannot enable breakthroughs or innovations to improvise further. If that was to happen, you would have already got those! If you think that laid-down “practices and processes” alone would give you best results at all times to come; it may be your pipe dream!

Progressive approach and attitude demand that unless old order is abandoned, a new and better one cannot be ushered in. Individuals, professionals and companies not doing this would get out of sync with trends and times, get in peril or even perish!

Proven Practices needed for Peak Performance!

It is important to evolve and establish practices and processes in any organization or institution. Then, these have to be implemented to check that same work and deliver results or else need to be modified, until these become proven.

Thereafter, the performance can be driven to the peak, since:

  1. Everyone has clarity of direction.
  2. Coherence and consistency are driven automatically across organization.
  3. It fosters team spirit.
  4. It encourages disciplined approach.
  5. It builds up experience and expertise in optimum time.

So far so good and performance of individuals, groups or organization would reach a peak. You can sustain this peak for a period – I would term it as an optimum time, beyond which trouble would start to stare at you!

Peak Performance is also a starting point of Problems!

  • Beyond peak, where do you go? You can only go down! This is true to happen, if an organization has peaked its performance with given set of practices and processes.
  • Individuals and management would get in comfort zone.
  • Complacency would descend.
  • Erstwhile Excellence would entice Adversity.
  • Organization tends to become sluggish, lose its momentum and lean character!

Therefore, proven practices are good till we reach a peak or steady state; beyond that these would bring issues and ills!

Break proven practices to reach another peak!

Practices or processes invariably have 2 parts – one which has no alternative or option. Evaluate this part very carefully and once satisfied that there is truly no alternative, retain it. Then, we are left with second part, which has to be broken, given up or relinquished, especially after peak performance has been attained. We need courage to do this!

It is rule of nature that –

Every system has 2 sections – one with no alternative; so discover and retain it. The other one has an alternative; so relinquish it, especially after peak has been attained”.

If we follow the above rule, we would see the path to another peak opening up!

Reason for which you relinquish becomes source of your renaissance

This is the secret behind from where “the source of new ideas, inspiration and innovation in most people” comes in. Reason for which you relinquish certain things that you have been doing or living with, becomes the focal point of your revival, redefinition, rediscovery, rejuvenation, restructuring or resurgence!

If we look at emergence of famous leaders and legends, we would find that this is true; examples – Mahatma Gandhi, Steve Jobs and several others.

Therefore:

  • Breakthrough in your business or profession or pursuits would come, if you break away from that part of current practices and processes, you don’t need to retain.
  • You can best discover or design a new product, when you genuinely decide to drop existing one.
  • You can cope-up with new challenges, if you do not cling to old customs and traditions, which are not indispensable.
  • You can’t innovate, unless you renovate your current practices and procedures.
  • You can’t discover truths, unless you discard myths on which your beliefs hinge.

So, the game needs to change, when you reach steady state or peak with your current perspective.

The reason, for which you need to break prevailing practices, also becomes reason for your breakthrough!

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