Empowering Times September 2010

September 2010

Dear Reader,

"There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success,
than to take the lead in the introduction of a new order of things."
- Niccolo Machiavelli

We acknowledge that to sustain and survive we have to constantly look at what the future may have in store and begin to change . Then, why is accepting Change so difficult? Conceptually we are not against Change; we are emotional about Changing. Vijayan, our Principal Consultant, explores different nuances of Change Management in Thinking Aloud.

In Podium, we bring an exclusive interview with Mr. Sudhir Trehan, Managing Director of Crompton Greaves Limited (CG). Joining the company as a Management Trainee, he rose to become the Managing Director in 2000. He transformed the company by initiating significant steps and through global acquisitions, has made the firm into a leading global player in the electrical engineering sector, particularly in the Transmission and Distribution arena. A Business Leader par excellence, there is a lot to learn from Mr. Trehan and he tells us about some of those key learnings and experiences.

Who Killed Change? Well, the detective is investigating and you can join him by picking up this book by Ken Blanchard. Principal Consultant, Rohan Shahane, offers his take in Between the Lines.

'Walk the Talk' is probably what our Change Manager has to learn in Figures of Speech as Vikram, captures the ground reality.

Empowering Times has over 1000 subscribers today and we owe this to your continued support. We will be redesigning our look for our first anniversary issue and we look forward to your suggestions and feedback. Our Archives section is now richer with nine editions, do visit the Media and Archives section on our website or simply click here.

Geetanjali Sharma
Editor, Empowering Times



Change and Change Management - P. Vijayan

Interview with Sudhir Trehan on Leading Change

Book: Who Killed Change - Ken Blanchard


'Things, which I perceived as problems needing surgery actually needed only a booster dose of vitamins.'

Change And Change Management - P. Vijayan

For many years I believed that I had the capability to Change others, as if with a magic wand.

During my Post Graduation studies and early days of my career, I grew up hearing words like 'Change Agent', 'Transformational Guru', 'Reengineering Expert' and the like. I imagined that one day I would also earn the right to attach such titles to my name.

However, over the decades, I have been taught some hard lessons on Change; lessons very different from the belief I held. I was knocked around - literally and psychologically - to reflect, and I realized the deeper meaning and connotations of Change Management.

My new insight was that the term Change Management in isolation is a misnomer! It is not easy to articulate Change in neat definitions, boxes and matrices. The biggest Aha! that helped me rewire my internal software was, that if I desire the state of a process, system, group, function, company or my personal life, etc., (the list can go on) to change, my efforts have to follow a different trajectory. I needed to Change myself first. That was a huge departure for the 'bright young Change Manager' (with a PM&IR PG in 1984)!

Changing me was not about becoming somebody else; at the same time, it was also not about me remaining the same as I was decades ago. It was about changing the lens through which I perceived the phenomena around me - be it a process, system or a function, etc. It was about reflecting on the 'hardwired identity' of mine, which was playing as the lens through which I would look at the reality. It is quite amazing, that when I changed or at least tried to alter the lens, it improved my vision. Things which I perceived as problems needing surgery actually needed only a booster dose of vitamins. Moreover, the 'problem' itself had immense potential in it, which I could now see right below my nose.

The second dimension around Change Management is that most successful 'changes' in processes, systems, and other arenas from the present state to the desired state have happened with less of Management and more of kindling the inspiration. People have it in them to make the impossible happen. The 'Change Management' process should be able to recognize and press those soft levers in the mindsets of collectives, teams and individuals, for an explosive release of positive energy that provides the escape velocity for self generated change.

The third nuance around Change Management that I have come to realize (and probably accept) is that 'the more the things change, the more they remain the same.' This fits in with my increasing belief that human values & principles do not dramatically change - though the external packaging could .Trust, Openness, Transparency, Integrity have never been out of relevance. This means we do not have to change too many things and that too very fast. Our difficulty in understanding this truth could be the reason why organisations seem to be always having a long 'to-do' list of changes to be done and we never seem to bridge the gap.

The final strand in the tapestry of this subject is that most Change Management programs end up in reducing complexity. If that were true, one is left wondering as to why did the process, system, or the function, etc., become complex in the first place? Possibly, those who had to administer or manage the process ended up adding newer rules and procedures to ensure that the potential 1% system violators should meet their nemesis! As an unintended consequence, probably 99% of system compliers now had to contend with the new rules or procedures.

It is no wonder that Information Technology, an enabler across countries, systems, processes, functions, etc., has effectively reduced the complexity in a very short time. This has led to the simplification of the number of steps in the processes that connect the supplier to the customer - across geographies, cultures and time zones.

Thanks Charles Babbage, Bill Gates and the like - you have done yeoman service in avoiding 'frequent repeats' of the Change Management initiatives!

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'...once decided, there needs to be total courage of conviction and persistence from the leadership team to implement Change without wavering, even in the face of opposition'

INTERVIEW: Sudhir Trehan on Leading Change

Mr. Sudhir Trehan is the Managing Director of Crompton Greaves Ltd. part of the Avantha Group, a multi billion dollar global conglomerate. He is also the member of the Avantha Management Board, which formulates strategy at the Group level, besides being the Chairman of Avantha Power & Infrastructure Ltd.

Mr. Trehan is a gold medalist in Mechanical Engineering from the Birla Institute of Technology, Ranchi. He holds a Master's degree in Operational Research from the State University of New York at Stony-Brook, U.S.A. He also attended the Advanced Management Program (AMP) from Harvard Business School, Boston, U.S.A.

He began his career in the United Kingdom as a Management Trainee with Crompton Parkinson Ltd. In 1983, he joined Crompton Greaves Ltd. in India where he served in various Departments and Divisions including Transformers, Turbines and Switchgear. In May 2000, he became the Managing Director of CG.

He is actively involved in various industry forums like Indian Electricals and Electronics Manufacturing Association (IEEMA), Confederation of Indian Industries (CII), the Bombay Management Association (BMA) and Nashik Industries & Manufacturers' Association (NIMA).

Mr. Trehan was the recipient of the 'Outstanding Chief Executive of the Year' Award for the year 2000 - 2001, instituted by the Indian Institution of Industrial Engineering, for making Crompton Greaves a world-class manufacturing company. The Bombay Management Association conferred upon him the 'Management Man of the Year' award for the year 2005 - 2006 in recognition of his contribution to the Indian industry. He has also been conferred with the 'Business Standard CEO of the Year' award for the year 2008 - 2009.

He is a highly respected and a widely recognized business leader. Having led Change at Crompton Greaves, we asked him to share with us some of his experiences.

ET:  What are the learning experiences of leading Change at Crompton Greaves?

ST:  Leading Change at Crompton Greaves, I have had many learning experiences, the main being that there should be an adequate leadership debate on the direction and intensity of the Change initiatives. However, once decided, there needs to be total courage of conviction and persistence from the leadership team to implement Change without wavering, even in the face of opposition. Transparent communication plays a key role since, at all times the teams which are the Change Agents must understand the strategic logic for the Change and believe that the proposed actions will ensure a brighter future for the Organisation and all its stakeholders.

ET:  Having led mergers and acquisitions globally, are the issues of leading Change in India different from the challenges at the global level?

ST:  Yes, the challenges at a global level have been very different, but, more so because of the various cultures and prevailing mindsets. In India, our Leadership Team has established itself and therefore, acceptance of seniority was forthcoming and enthusiastic. In our foreign locations, our Management Team had to start by building credibility - both with demonstrated competence and willingness to have an open mind to the local culture. Abroad, one needs to explain the logic and rationale of every management action; but once convinced, the execution sincerity is total. Compared to India, foreign cultures also require a lot more communication to create the desired comfort level and buy-in. Although the implementation was different, it was not difficult since CG, as a part of its Corporate philosophy, fosters an environment of respect for the individual - both professional and personal. We recognize performance excellence and overall meritocracy, which is appreciated by all CG employees worldwide.

ET:  What are the signs that tell you that an Organisation needs to Change?

ST:  I feel that an Organisation needs to consider Change when it visualizes the future and concludes that its present actions will not sustain the Organisation in the future.

One such realization for CG was in the year 2004-2005, when even after garnering a 25% market share and a leadership position in India, we realized that we were still an insignificant player globally. India represented just 2.5% of the global market and unless we pursued global opportunities, we would be left behind. Even if we were able to capture just 1% of the remaining 97%, the size of our global business would be larger than our (then) 25% share in India.

Our convictions have come true and today, almost 60% of CG's consolidated turnover comes from its international operations, making us a truly Transnational Corporation, and giving us a competitive positioning. We are the 7th largest Transformer manufacturer in the world today. CG is now acknowledged as a strong competitor to the world leaders in the transmission and distribution arena.

ET:  How often does an Organisation go through Change?

ST:  Not too often, because any Change at an Organisational level creates its fair share of turbulence and this has its own side effects. The Leadership needs to be convinced of the 'why' for Change and the rationale should always be embedded in enhancing the long-term sustainability of the Organisation. Only then, the reason to Change becomes strong and convincing and all stakeholders increase their belief and faith in the credibility of the Management. Change should never be for Change sake or to emulate others. It should be specific to the needs of the Organisation.

ET:  What are the essential things a leader must do to lead a successful Change program?

ST:  In my opinion, to lead a successful Change program a Leader must lead from the front; walk his talk. The leader should implement all those actions himself/ herself first which others are required to follow. Communication at all levels of the Organisation is critical. Only with clear and transparent communication, the entire Organisation is aware of why the Change actions are taking place. Most importantly it is the people in your Organisation, who are the Change enablers and Change agents. Besides competence, you also need to win your employees' hearts and make an emotional connect - they need to believe in the Leadership team, that the Change being proposed will be for the benefit of the Organisation and themselves.

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Who Killed Change?

Solving the Mystery of Leading People Through Change

- Ken Blanchard with John Britt, Judd Hoekstra & Pat Zigarmi

A third case of homicide within a month and all victims named 'Change'!
All found dead without any sign or apparent injury!!
In all three cases, no one knows whodunit!!!

This 143 page 'how to' from the Ken Blanchard stable packs enough drama and intrigue to keep you rooted... after all, you do want to know who killed change, don't you?

But wait, you must first get closer to the crime scene and meet the 13 prime suspects. Chances are you may have met some of them...either in your current or past organization. Whatever be, remain alert and look for signs, patterns and behaviors, anything that will help nail the culprit before more damage is done.

If you are connected with 'change' in your organization in any way, you will find this breezy read a treasure trove. A step-by-step guide at the back of the book shows you how to apply the story's lessons to the real world. Key questions in the book will help you evaluate the health of your own organization's Change initiatives, and you will learn some best practices for enabling and sustaining the desired change.

So, the next time we meet, I look forward to hear how you helped Change survive and sustain!

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