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Change Management- Challenge For A Modern Manager

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By Saloni A D:

Situational Management theory is undergoing a sea of change with most of its disciplines viz. Human Resource Management, Marketing Management, Financial Management, Operational Management, Systems Management etc. being seen as fluid disciplines.

Leaders world over, are gearing up to cope with “Change”. Firstly, the need is to understand “Change” by the leader himself and then prompt the “Change” in such a way so that there is decreased resistance when the task comes to operation. Hence, “Change” is apparent at Individual level, group level and at organizational level.

However, “Change” that happens to an organization can be distinguished from “Change” that is planned by its members. Organizations can use planned change to solve problems, to learn from experience, to reframe shared perceptions, to adapt to external environmental changes, to improve performance and to influence future changes.

There are three major theories of organization change that have received considerable attention in the field — Lewin’s Change Model, The Action Research Model and the Positive Model.

Despite their continued refinement, the models and practice of planned change are still in a formative stage of development and there is considerable room for improvement. Planned change has typically been characterized as involving a series of activities for carrying out effective organization development.

Although current models outline a general set of steps to be followed, considerably more information is needed to guide how those steps should be performed in specific situations. Planned change also tends to be described as rationally controlled, orderly process.

Critics have argued that although this view may be comforting, it is seriously misleading. They point out that planned change has a more chaotic quality, often involving shifting goals, discontinuous activities, surprising events, and unexpected combinations of changes. For example, Executives often initiate changes without plans that clarify their strategies and goals. As “Change” unfolds, new stake holders may emerge and demand modifications reflecting previously unknown or unvoiced means. Those emergent conditions make planned change a far more disorderly and dynamic process than is customarily portrayed, and conceptions need to capture that reality.

Reshaping the organization’s culture and design element becomes need of the hour. Organization transformation implies radical changes in how members perceive, think and behave at work. These changes go far beyond making the existing organization better or fine tuning the status quo. They are concerned with fundamentally altering the organizational assumptions about its functioning and how it relates to the environment. Changing these assumptions entails significant shifts in corporate philosophy and values and in the numerous structures and organizational arrangements that shape members’ behaviours. Not only is the magnitude of “Change” greater, but the change fundamentally alters the qualitative nature of the organization.

Leadership And Communication Traits in implementing Change Management: The ability to communicate has been a proven factor in leadership. Generally, a leader’s communication comprises:

– A sense of confidence and control over employees.
– His/her own feelings about the change.
– The degree to which he/she trusts the abilities of the employees to get through the change.
– A sense of purpose and commitment.
– The degree to which he/she accepts the reactions and feelings of employees.
– Expectations regarding behaviour that is seen as appropriate or inappropriate.
– the degree to which he/she is “connected to” employees’ situations and feelings or is “in-touch” with them.

It is clear that if the leader communicates effectively, he/she will be sending messages that decreases resistance, and encourages moving through the ‘change’, more effectively and positively.

Contemporary Managerial Communication pattern embraces both the basics of communications of yesteryears and complex electronic communication systems. Thus, the latest meaning to “Communication” has been “CREATING UNDERSTANDING”.

Whenever a leader communicates to employees about change, he/she should be striving to convey the following position:

a) That he/she is personally committed to the change, and is seeing it through, even if it has negative consequences.
b) That he/she can recognize that the change negatively impacts upon some people.
c) That he/she is open to discussion of the feelings of employees regarding the change.
d) That he/she is confident that the “team” can make it through the changes.
e) That he/she wants and needs input to make the changes in work.

Sometimes the leader won’t be committed to the change, or won’t be very confident that self and the staff can pull it off, particularly when the change is imposed from above. While some may disagree, it is important that the leader still conveys an image of strength and commitment despite his/her own misgivings. The change leader has a role to play, and if he/she have misgivings or strong negative emotional reactions of own, it may be more effective if he/she underplays them. If the leader shows anger about a change, he/she may legitimize the same kind of negative behaviour in the staff.

While the leader shouldn’t hide his or her negative reactions completely, it is probably wise to keep them in the background by stating them in a matter of fact way and moving on with time.

Change is continuous. As a change leader, communication is the primary and most important tool. There is no substitute for good judgement and thus, change leaders need to be reflective and thoughtful about the ways they communicate.

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        An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

        Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

        Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

        The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

        Read more about his campaign.

        Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

        Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

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        Read more about her campaign.

        MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

        With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

        Read more about her campaign. 

        A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

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        A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

        The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

        Read more about the campaign here.

        A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

        As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

        Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

        Find out more about her campaign here.

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        A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

        A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

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        A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform Change.org, demanding that the Government of Assam install
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        Bidisha was selected in Change.org’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
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