“Organisations which either fail to understand the need for change or are inept in their ability to deal with change will fade and fall behind, if they survive at all” - Kanter. Change is an inevitable event, any time any where. The success and survival of an individual or an organisation are very closely related to how efficiently and effectively one copes up with the change.
The management has to view the changes from the point of view of the business, employees, customers, shareholders, creditors, etc. Strategy managers must be capable of forecasting the future needs of the customers and the changes that can occur in various factors related to the business. IBM recognised the need for change a few years back the hard way when the new markets that sprang up threatened the very existence of its business. Timely change is required to be the market leader. Xerox for instance which had the first mover advantage of the market during the time of its entry failed to retain the leadership. This helped many companies like HP and Canon to capture a major share in the market with their competitive policies.
Changes have become part of everyday life. A German proverb has rightly said that to change and to change for the better are two different things. Changing for the sake of it without analysing its impact on the business, its workforce, etc can fail to bring about the desired outcome. This was one of the reasons for the failure of Six Sigma in many organisations. Accurate analysis of the market requirements, the employees, the capital investment involved, etc must be made with great care. The success of BPO business in India coaxed many to enter the same. Like the fall of dot com companies, imperfect analysis and the lack of resources led to the failure of many companies. However market leaders like Progeon continue to exploit and widen their share of business by adapting to the changing requirements.
It is not just the business that is to be foreseen by the company. The transition from C language to Java in the recent years must ensure the existence of experts in Java without a break in the business processes. Companies must be able to project the future employee skills that can aid in keeping pace with the requirements. How soon you can foresee the future requirements and the speed at which the companies can adopt the changes determines the marketability of the company.
Globalisation brought with it a huge difference to the size of the companies. The opening of the economy has increased the number of employees from hundreds to thousands in a matter of years. Changes of this impact if not foreseen and controlled can lead to the death of the business entity.
Talent requirements, personal needs, cultural changes, demographics, etc of the employees vary from place to place and from time to time. For example, the transition to casual attire is a change that came up in recent years. Today the entry of Bill Gates into the World Economic Forum in casual attire fails to shock the people which were unthinkable a few years back. The management is to change its policies to incorporate the changes so as to develop a culture that is capable of accepting them with least resistance. Training and developmental programs must support the employees in coping with the changes.
The change in the outlook of the customers must be exploited to increase the profitability of the concerns. Previously the low cost of labour in India induced the foreign companies to outsource labour intensive work to India. But this outlook saw a change in the recent years with many research and development activities being shifted on the acceptance of the presence of skilled employees in India. The slow transition from time and material projects, and fixed rate projects to risk reward models is another example.
Anticipating the future and defining the core competencies leaves the organisation confident of its strength to succeed. As stated by Peter Drucker, “the entrepreneur always searches for change, responds to it, exploits it as an opportunity”.