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Change or no change: Do we have an option?

May 23, 2021

We keep hearing this phrase every now and then- "Change is inevitable ". So what does it mean? Whether you like it or not, change is the default. It is not an option. If this is so, we can look around ourselves and see exactly what we all do to adapt to the changes happening around us. Does that also happen by default or do we need to put in additional effort to adapt to the changes happening around us? If we put it in perspective, it is like weather change- when winter arrives, we start wearing warm clothes and eat or drink such food which helps us adapt to the weather conditions outside. Similarly, in the case of any other weather like in summer, we wear clothes which keep us ventilated and at the same time save us from heat stroke. We drink more liquid to keep our bodies hydrated.  Just the way that we have learnt to adapt to the weather changes happening around us, we also adapt to the things happening in our lives and our surroundings all the time. Now let us apply this perspective in the context of organizations and how they survive the external changes happening with regard to the business environment. Environmentmental factors are constantly imposing several demands on the organization and they have to learn to adapt to them. The changes can range from socio political and economic changes to techno structural changes. Organizations that do not change do not survive or face a decline like Nokia, Kodak films. However, any effort made towards change helped the same companies to revive. Those organizations which failed to adapt also failed to survive. Change is always external, and something on which individuals or organizations do not have any control. The only way forward is to keep a watch on the external changes happening and constantly bring in incremental changes, rather than lead the organization to a point where they need to bring in transformational change, which is high on risk and difficult to manage. The incremental changes made are somewhat similar to the transition period between two weather seasons, which gives you sufficient time to adapt effectively and bring in all the competencies to handle the environmental changes happening outside.  Organizations can create more flexibility in terms of adapting to change rather than waiting for the external changes to happen and then try to change. Preparing organizations gradually for external changes can reap positive results and it will help them to sustain as well. Identifying gaps in the internal operations, structure, people and technology, and responding to these gaps regularly will create more flexible and adaptive organizations. This internal reflection and responding to it is an essential part of surviving and in the absence of it, sustaining the organization in the market will be difficult. Hence, referring back to our initial phrase "change is inevitable",  conscious awareness to change will help organizations to respond better to the external changes happening.

Author:
Bhupinder Arora, Assistant Professor, Unitedworld School of Business (UWSB)

Disclaimer: The opinions / views expressed in this article are solely of the author in his / her individual capacity. They do not purport to reflect the opinions and/or views of the College and/or University or its members.

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