Change is the only Constant


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Change is the only Constant

  1. 1. Business and ManagementCritically evaluate and discuss the statement “Change is the only constant in the business” Group Essay Group Number 2 Akta Gupta Akhilesh Khanna Anujika Kumar Kunal Bansal Sanchita Bhagat Vibhuti Pradeep Section A Workshop B Module: MNGT120 Module Leader: Dr. Seema Bhatt Cohort: 2010-2013 Word Count: 2000 words
  2. 2. MNGT120Defining change in simple words would mean “to make the form, nature, content,future course, etc., of (something) different from what it is or from what it would be ifleft alone.” Imagine, an organization with no change in its workforce, suppliers,buyers, products, style of working, not affected by the external environment for itsentire lifetime. The existence of such an organization would be difficult even toimagine because in the real world, every organization undergoes a change in itsworkforce, suppliers, buyers, products, etc. The dynamic nature of the businessenvironment has forced organizations to come up with new strategies or even minimalchanges if that is what helps them to survive in this constantly changing businessworld. Since an organization cannot survive without an interaction with the outsideworld, this interaction will bring a change in the organization and only “change” is afactor that will be consistentin an organization forever. No building, machine,strategy,person would last forever in a companyand would be replaced or changed. If thecompany tries to bring this imaginary world to the real one, it would fail terribly andwould engender its own downfall in this world of changes as nothing but changeremains constant.Every organization like a human being has stages of life and needs to grow, whichcould be in terms of market share, profit levels, increasing brand image, etc but to doso it has to adapt itself to the changing world. If not adopted and changedaccordingly, the company would not prosper and would ultimately die out as a sunsetindustry/company as it could not meet up with the changing environment and theexpectations of the market. As a new baby comes into this world, it grows, maturesand dies one day, similarly an organization or business would once start, grow andultimately come to an end. But in this process, it would have to go through a numberof changes as one grows; being more knowledgeable and experienced with age. These 2
  3. 3. MNGT120changes could be in physical form whether external or internal.Nothing remainsconstant for an individual over his lifetime and so is the condition of an organization.The external environment, in which it works, like the business cycle,changes in theconsumer demand trends, etc thus bringing about a change. The internal changes likeemployees coming in and going out, financial fluctuations, change in projects, changein technology, etc would constantly force the business to accept a new medium to dothe same work it did, or maybe force it to start with something new because its initialprojects are low in worth, now. If traditions, let it be in a community or organization,were not evolved over time, prosperity and development would be restricted.Economies have evolved over time, revolutions have forced companies to tryinnovative methods and deviate from the existing norms or restrictions as the marketis continuously infested with competition. No company can survive if it sticks to thetraditional or previously set strategies or methods. In this time where every individualis looking for budget cuts, high efficiency and quality at low costs andbetter resultswithin little or no time, the need for change is now surfacing. Kotter (1996) in thisbook, Leading Change, stated, “The rate of change is not going to slow down anytimesoon. If anything, competition in most industries will probably speed up even more inthe next few decades.”An organization would have to try different ideas to stay in themarket.Inability to change is considered as unsatisfactory and leads to being one ofthe major threats as to why businesses fall in today’s world. Following the words ofScott G.McNealy, Chairman, President and CEO of Sun Microsystems “Miss onedevelopment cycle and you are seriously hurt. Miss two and you are mortallywounded,"it can be observed how important in the world of today is keeping withchange rather being able to accept it and devising ways to achieve the organizationalgoals with the presence of a ever changing or dynamic business environment. 3
  4. 4. MNGT120Adaptation of change with the product lifecycles becoming smaller by the day andconstantly changing consumer demands has gained ample importance over the lastfew decades. Changes could be adopted in various ways. This could involve a routinechange like employee turnover, changes in the product or service, changes in thecompensation, etc, such changes are easier to manage but some changes can be non-routine and can bring uncertainty and anxiety within the workplace, such a changecould be a merger or a takeover, complete change in the organizational culture,rebranding, etc. Introducing changes in a subtle manner from time to time would notonly reduce resistance on the part of the employees but also make the functioning ofthe organization highly dynamic.According to the perception of some companies, changing the way the employeesthink and perceive could do wonders wherein; it brings about changes in their vision,mission and values. Whereas, according to some, by bringing in a new leader,appointing a new CEO for the company would be enough, but change is just not it. Achange can be as small as adding a new coffee machine to the workplace to acomplete rebranding of the organization. It is a full circle that would bring a series ofother changes as one change would have some after-effects and some resistance as itis difficult for people to get accustomed to new measures for they are not willing toleave their comfort zones. This decision caneither result in being a benefit to thebusiness or become a reason for the company’s doors being sealed.An extreme case of implementing a change within an organization is the case ofrebranding UTI bank to Axis Bank, where the former UTI bank not only changed itsname to Axis Bank but also the brand, along with the , symbol andsignage to reflectthe new look, which provided a complete transformation of the bank. This helped in 4
  5. 5. MNGT120changing its image in the eyes of the public from a quasi-government bank to aprivate bank. It also altered 96other elements, some of which involvedcheque books,pay-orders, dress code of the employees, working ambience, the branch look, etc tosuit the new name of the bank. But this change could have become very tragic to thecompany as customers tend to get emotionally attached to companies and changingthe brand value and look could bring a sense of alienation. If it did not convey a rightmessage about this change to their present and potential investors and the consumersthe new name and look would could have made them feel different about theirdealings. To deal with this uncertainty, a promotion strategy was marketed whichaired the message of the Axis Bank stating that, “Everything is the same, except thename.” so that investors and customers would not flee away due to various concernslike change in brand image, value and other norms as these usually are marked as theeharbinger of uncertainty. This was the biggest voluntary change in the banking sectorthat was long term, but there are various other changes that the Axis Bank has to gothrough every day to keep the business working and profitable like making smart andanalyzed investments, adding new customers, etc. If it planned to stop changing andstick to its basic form, it would probably not be known to the large number of peoplefor its significant change and crash as the customer and market demand keepchanging inevitably with other banks in the private sector always trying to seal thedeal.The other example of growth in an organization due to the adoption of change was theachievement of the British Airways in cultural change. British airways started during1935, when the private UK airlines came into existence. A change had taken place todevelop BOAC (The British Overseas Airways Corporation) with the help ofgovernment nationalized British airways and Imperial Airways. At this point of time, 5
  6. 6. MNGT120there was stability and predictability in the external markets and the implementationof competitive strategies was also not required for British airways. The changes hadtaken place due to the rise in the organization. From the year 2001-06 British airwayswas undergoing devastation, but because of the following changes like the overhaul ofbuying procedures, the aviation of procurement and finance conference, theorganization had recovered all its losses.Multinational food chains like McDonalds and KFC, brought changes into theirserved menu while entering the Indian market, to suit the tastes of the targetedmarket. This change was introduced e.g., Mc Aloo Tikki, by McDonalds and veg.zinger burger by KFC only in India, and the foreign branches do not serve these intheir menu, as their customer demands vary. If it did not bring this change, it wouldhave not survived in this market.These were some successful changes in the history of change management but therehave been attempts to bring about a change in the market trends and consumerdemands by trying new ideas that have not only come at a great cost but also havefailed tragically. One such example is the “Premier” the smokeless cigarette, RJReynolds invested millions to launch this product but could set the name of thecompany only as a market disaster in bringing new products. He did try to change theperception of smoking to a smokeless cigarette, but failed. So was with the case withthe colorless version of Pepsi cola, Pepsi Aha (Pepsi with lemon), Vanilla Coke wereother market failures. Some changes are not acceptable in the market, as theconsumers cannot accept some changes as they are attached to the previouslylaunched products but they still take place as the race to be in the line of competitionnever ends. 6
  7. 7. MNGT120In this world of changes, bringing about change is important and so is adapting to thechanging markets. So was the case with the Bethlehem Steel, which at one point oftime was the only steel producing company in America, it ranged from railroads tocargo vessels and coal to warships.But this company could not change with theeconomy that led to a service-based economy in the 1990s and thus failed and filedfor bankruptcy in 2001.Such instances show how evident is the involvement of change in any business andjots down the numerous consequences that company failing to comply with it have toface. Under such circumstances, their existence itself becomes the question. This hasbeen observedin the functioning of the Indian handloom industry. It has faced intensecompetition over the years, survived with grasping breaths, having no change in theirform, but now needs to be revived to meet the competition that globalization bringsalong with it. With the trend of reducing demand of these goods probably because ofthe dearth of knowledge, expertise and skills in this field, the adoption changes couldslowly show the true potential of this industry enabling it to survive. Even the publicsector undertakings like Engineer India, Coal India, PowerGrid, RuralElectrifications, etc, despite being run with rigid rules and sometimes inflexible, havehad to adopt changes once in a while so as to adjust to the dynamic nature of thebusiness environment. They do so by timely policy changes because they desire toshow the same acceleration and excellence in growth as they have exhibited overtime."Everybody has accepted by now that change is unavoidable. But that still impliesthat change is like death and taxes — it should be postponed as long as possible andno change would be vastly preferable. But in a period of upheaval, such as the one weare living in, change is the norm." 7
  8. 8. MNGT120 -Drucker. P (1999) REFERENCEAgarwal, A. 2007. Axis Bank – transforming UTI Bank into a global modern bank. [Online] (Updated31 July 2007)Available at:[Accessed 04April 11] 8
  9. 9. MNGT120Anonymous. Change In Technology. [Online]Available at:[Accessed 04April 11]Anonymous, 2002. Analysis Of The success Of Cultural Change Within BritishAirways. [Online] (Updated 04th December 2002)Available at:[Accessed 04 April 11]Anonymous, 2007. Dramatic changes saved British Airways from ruin. [Online](Updated 21st March 2007)Available at:[Accessed 04 April 11]Anonymous, 2009. The 25 Worst Business Failures in History. [Online] (Updated 14January 2009)Available at:[Accessed 04 April 11]Chakrabort, D., 2009. Failure of RJ Reynolds from Premier to Eclipse. [Online](Updated 15th October 2009)Available at:[Accessed 04 April 11] Change | Define Change at [Online]Available at:[Accessed 04 April 11]Domain-b, 2007. UTI Bank officially becomes Axis Bank. [Online]Available at:[Accessed 03 April 11]Drucker, P. 1999. Quotes on CHANGE. [Online]Available at:[Accessed 03 April11]Farley, T., Preston, J.B. & Hayward, T. 1998. Academic libraries, people and change:a case study of the 1990s, Library Management, vol. 19, no. 4, pp. 238.Ghosh, R. et al. McDonald’s: Behind The Global Arches. [Online] Available at: [Accessed03 April 11]Gupta, S. Change in Corporate Identity and its Impact on Stakeholders (A Case ofAxis Bank). [Online]Available at:[Accessed 04 April 11]Kotter, J., 1996. Leading Change. Boston: Harvard Business Press 9
  10. 10. MNGT120Mason, W.H,. MANAGING CHANGE. [Online]Available at:[Accessed 04 April 11]Pasha, S., 2010. Handloom Industry Deserves Top Priority. [Online] (Updated 9December 2010)Available at:[Accessed 05 April 11]Robinson, C., 2009. Why Good Companies Fail and It’s Not Due to the Recession.[Online]Available at:[Accessed 03 April 11]Shanley, C. 2007. Managing change through management development: an industrycase study. The Journal of Management Development, vol. 26, no. 10, pp. 962.Suttle, R., 2010. The Top Reasons Why Companies Fail. [Online] (Updated 10 may2010)Available at:[Accessed 04 April 11] 10