Change- The Bastion of Survival

Date
May - 2018
Author/s
-
Title
Change- The Bastion of Survival
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                                                                                                                                                                                                                For Members only. For Private Circulation only.

Bombay Chartered Accountants’ Society

Harnessing Talent and Providing Quality Service

Thought Mailer                                                                       Vol. 8 1 No. 10 1 May 2018

CA.  Narayan Pasari

 

Change- The Bastion of Survival

In the history of civilization if there is one element which has been constant it is “CHANGE”. Change is a continuous, permanent and dominant phenomenon not only in the evolution of mankind but also in the entire eco system which sustains the universe. Greek philosopher Heraclitus rightly said that “there is nothing as unchanging as change”. Change is an enabler of progress as also the cause of major disruption that forces world to adopt new order. Notwithstanding, change is the most resisted thought despite its certainty.

Let us examine how change impacts our lives and why it is so resisted.

What is “Change”

Change is an act or process through which established way of thinking, evaluating and doing is challenged to eventually give rise to the new or-der. Change could be either “Linear” or “Lateral”. Linear change is direct, immediate and visible. For example, when income tax act and rules change one needs to embrace them quickly and adapt oneself to the new regime. There are temporary adjustments, new learning and training which would become necessary in the process. There may not be a far reaching impact on individual and society unless the change is disruptive in its structure akin to the GST recently introduced in India. Disruptive change though linear in its nature is sudden and unnerving when hap-pens. It creates a complete chaos in the pertinent environment. Such change can have life changing impact on individual, family and society as whole.

Lateral change on the other hand is indirect, slow and subtle. It not only changes the way of doing things but brings about major shift in the thinking and value system. It comes about after lot of churning after which new norms become acceptable. History is replete with such examples. Racism, sexual orientation, caste system, gender equality are some examples where norms which prevailed in the past have given way to new order.

Effect of Change

Change refreshes life and makes it interesting. It keeps the determined spirit of human being alive to fight difficulty and find way out of challenge. It helps one get free from the bondage of archaic set of traditions and move from inefficiency towards more efficient and relevant norms. It helps find new ways of doing things, open new outlooks hitherto not thought. It widens spectrum and ideology to embrace new sections. Though the immediate effect of change could be negative it could ultimately do wonders. For example, in the era when airplane was conceptualized it was as-sumed impossible to fly. Newton’s principle of gravity was one strong enough excuse for killing the idea. But it did not. Inevitable had to happen and it changed the way people travelled. While the linear effect was innovation of airplane offering ease and speed of travel, the lateral effect on the society was that it widened horizons, increased interactions between diverse cultures and made possible mobility of resources providing new opportunities. Practically, every change has followed its own linear and lateral pattern yielding tremendous life changing opportunities. Exam-ples of internet, mobile communication technology, and medical innovations such as heart bypass, and transplants of body parts are well known. Days of more disruptive changes with advent of electric vehicles and artificial intelligence are not too far to herald a new world order.

Why is Change Resisted?

Despite all its positive effects in the long run, change is resisted because it brings insecurity, fear and feeling of inadequacy. It begets lot of nega-tivity in the minds of people who are impacted. The reason behind these emotions is that each affected constituent, has over a period, adopted certain belief system and work style that gives him a comfort zone. This comfort zone gives an illusion of superiority, status, permanence and economic freedom. When change happens, it shakes the very foundation of the comfort zone that has been diligently built by individual. Same thing is true even for a society. Society develops a certain belief system and thrive people who support it. However, when the belief system is challenged it fragments the society and brings about turbulence that can completely unsettle the existing foundation which held its constituents together. In the old days of racism when certain section held it to be their privilege to be in commanding position just because of their colour or caste, they drew comfort at others’ expense. With revolution of change sweeping suddenly their comfort was gone when they had to accept peo-ple whom they regarded as inferior in their value system to command them. Similarly, with the advent of digital age, those who were blue blood-ed industrialists in the old economy found themselves staring at young entrepreneurs challenging their supremacy and displacing them. This is a perennial process. Each new concept, innovation, idea is resisted tooth and nail till the very force of the idea overpowers and replaces the old.

An interesting example of change resistance is about Digital photography technique invented by Kodak engineers. Kodak considered its core business as that of paper selling and viewed camera and photography only as supporting business. When digital photography technique was in-vented by their own engineers they resisted it considering it as threat to their paper business. They tried to kill it instead of adopting it. However, by the sheer power of possibilities that it offered to world to adopt it for different applications, it changed the way memories were preserved and eliminated papers. Kodak, which was one of the worlds Fortune 500 companies closed shop by end of year 2000. The cost they paid dearly for resistance to the change.

Change Management

To mitigate the negative effects of change it is important to manage change with well laid out strategy and execution plan- more so, in case of a linear change. This could be done by the change agent i.e. the person or an institution wishing to bring about the change giving full support to the change implementation team. The management of change is done by consultation, interaction and determination to completely back those re-sponsible for implementation at grounds level. If this is not done, then it will kill the change by the strong backlash that affected constituents will generate. Another thing to be kept in mind is that it requires great patience, discretion and willingness to accept newer set of challenges that will surface. An understanding that gradually time will settle the issues will be pivotal in successful implementation of change.

Change and Survive

If you are not going to change the way you think, the way you work, the way you plan, the way you position yourself, the way you serve, you are not just doomed but will find yourself out of the game altogether. It is no longer Survival of The Fittest. You can be as fit as you could be, but if you are not willing to change, to be agile and a quick learner, you will not be able to sustain that success for long. Change at the speed of thought is the winning mantra today. Resist and you shall perish. Adaptability and flexibility in working style will be your key to success. Hesi-tate to Change, and you may not get a second chance to come back.

A French philosopher Henri Bergsen said “To exist is to change, to change is to mature and to mature is to go changing oneself endlessly “. How true it is for our sheer survival to learn to accept change gracefully.

About CA. Narayan Pasari,

CA Narayan Pasari qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1986. During his more than 3 decade long professional career he has advised many corporates in various areas of planning, strategy, systems, due dili-gence, private equity and mergers. Presently he is associated with few start-ups and mentors young practicing CAs. Currently he is Peer Reviewer and a Reviewer, with the Financial Review Reporting Board, ICAI.

CA Narayan Pasari has been actively associated with Bombay Chartered Accountants Society and is presently the president for the year 2017-18. He is also the founder Trustee of both his College and School Alumni Associations and is dedicated to their causes. His motto is in giving back to his Alma maters and he spends considerable time for these Alumni bodies.

Besides, CA Narayan Pasari is a voracious reader and he passionately follows Indian Economy, Politics, Cricket and Bollywood.

He can be contacted at contact : narayan@mmcsllp.com

President

Narayan R. Pasari

9820038095

president@bcasonline.org

Vice-President

Sunil B. Gabhawalla

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Hon. Secretaries

Manish P. Sampat

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js@bcasonline.org

 

Abhay R. Mehta

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js1@bcasonline.org

 

Hon. Treasurer

Suhas S. Paranjpe

9869074643

treasurer@bcasonline.org

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