Here are my takeaways from a very thought provoking panel discussion held by Agile Network India Mumbai Chapter on 30th May 2021. The topic for the discussion was Organization Change and Culture, a must have skill for leaders. Ajay Solanki moderated the panel comprising of QuestionMan Heman Manek, Koel Bhattacharya, Chithra Muthumani and Prashant Neharkar.
I would like to put three key takeaways I had from the event.
Organization change has several drivers, external as well as internal and it's not just about survival, but staying relevant.
External market drivers are very prominent, as an example FinTech changed the way we transferred money, exchanged money. Banks had to take notice and change the way to customer engagement. Pandemic accelerated digital adoption in sectors where it was not much earlier, for e.g. education, healthcare. For some it hit the roof such as banking or financial, for e.g. digital payments.
There are also several internal business drivers such as change in organization structure or leadership or even Mergers & Acquisitions. A lot of times organizational change is not only about growth and transformation, but also to keep themselves relevant and change to bring what's relevant to the customer.
This also leads to creative disruption - for e.g. organizations that were focused on developing office based devices shifted to enabling home working.
Either one is a part of the change driving it or it is adapting to the change. Organizations can themselves disrupt the industry, so think about what's the difference one wants to make in the industry 5-10 years from now. Change is here to stay and part of the ecosystem. The organizations that are forward thinking surely think about future and define the future of their industry. They prepare for change and are ready for disrupting the industry. Other organizations are then forced to change as per the disruption demands.
Leaders are crucial to make or break how their organization sees through change.
Leaders need to move from "I know it all" to "I may not know" with a curiosity mindset, authentic, bring clarity, constantly learning and challenging the core ideas. A great leader may ask people to provoke their thoughts rather than simply commanding and controlling them. Asking powerful questions such as Why are you doing what are you doing? What is other way of doing the same thing in less time?
Leaders can also ensure the right communication about what is changing reaches the right people along with why it is changing. Enabling people to be able to embrace the changed ways of working ensures sustaining of the change. Being transparent, vulnerable and getting honest feedback sets the change in the motion on the path of success.
Thanks to the panelists for sharing their valuable inputs on organizational change and their experience about the same.