Change management is as important today as it has ever been. The world is going through unprecedented change as new technologies change the very fabric of our world.
Pravesh Parbhoo, Head: Sales and Solution at Altron Karabina, says that an important aspect of change management is a willingness to accept being vulnerable and a commitment to sticking to the course, which will be characterised by fear and resistance.
“Resistance to change is inevitable,” he says, “however, change for the better is simply impossible without facing discomfort. We simply must traverse the discomfort to reach our destination as there is no way to bury our heads in the sand and teleport to the desired destination.”
He says that many projects fail because businesses underestimate the inevitable resistance that comes with change.
On the other hand, businesses that expect and prepare for it understand that the resistance itself is the fuel of innovation.
“By driving a culture that encourages vulnerability, change agents can build a constant awareness within an organisation of built-in resistance. Awareness becomes the spark that ignites the fuel of innovation,” he says.
Talking about his new role at Altron Karabina, he says: “If I turn the lens inwards, it would be foolish for myself or anyone in my team to succumb to the pressure of needing to be instant experts. This is true when engaging in new technologies, just as it is true when we take on new roles and challenges. During times of change, we must be prepared to be vulnerable and accept that we may not know exactly how to achieve the desired state but we trust the systems and processes that have been put in place.
“Similarly, this awareness means that if we encounter something akin to a road hazard or bottleneck, we need to be agile enough to find another route. Indeed, there will be times where the path has not yet been charted, and in those times we must build the new route on the go – yet never lose sight of the GPS pointing us towards where we need to be,” he explains.
Parbhoo suggests that leaders would do well to approach change with an open mind. “Rather than deny or attempt to escape resistance, leaders can use an awareness of it to propel the organisation forward,” he says.
Using an analogy of building a bridge between two banks, where the one bank is where a business needs to transition from and the other is the desired changed state, he says the pillars holding the bridge up need to be able to withstand the tides of resistance.
“Embracing change provides leaders with an opportunity to build a bridge over a river of resistance. The foundations and pillars of the bridge are built through leadership and the value a business drives for its customers. It goes without saying that these pillars must be strong enough to weather the river’s flow. However, once they are solidly in place, reaching the destination on the other side becomes not only possible but a pleasant and fruitful experience.”