It started in 1997, when the author, Lalit Jagtiani and a couple other employees in their workplace were christened Change Agents. Granted the mandate of driving Change in their organisation, life for them and Lalit hasn't been the same, since then. As Lalit and the Change agents travelled across India to various offices, departments, and units of the organisation to initiate the transformation program, they experienced a Change. It seemed that these teams-on-a-mission, were more than mere couriers of a corporate Vision. Consumed with the principles of Change Management, transformation of the organisation was not a task for them. It became their identity. While the organisation and its people were figuring out the aspects of Transformation, the author was undergoing an internal metamorphosis.
When Change Happens… A Story of Organisational Transformation is an outside-in perspective on change management and organisational development. The story is a live model of a change management process in an organisation. Without 'prescribing' principles, guidelines and methodology of change management, the author succinctly expresses the subject in a manner that is organic, creative and dynamic. In fact, change management as a subject is just that. Evolving, never predictable and hence complex to execute and achieve a successful outcome. This is what makes When Change Happens… unique. It tells the real story of change management, one that is outside the pages of a management book but inside the walls of an organisation. Based on the fundamentals of change management garnered across professional assignments and built on a fictional platform is the USP of When Change Happens…
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.