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Management of Change

- A Summary of the Course -

By
Anindya Mukherjee / 13035

I am writing this course summary as a first-person narrative. Such an approach does not stem from any over-developed egocentric attitude; but rather, it is born out of a conviction that the subject-matter of the MOC course is not a 'he', 'she', 'one' or a 'person-in-this-or-that-situation'. While undergoing MOC, a feeling persisted and kept getting strengthened that the subject matter of the course, the protagonist of the Change drama, was ME. Unlike courses in Marketing, Finance, HRD, etc., MOC did not urge me to fill my intellectual haversack with some more tools. The focus of MOC was on prompting ME to ask MYSELF how I can effectively and efficiently use my objective knowledge and skill inventory on situations that are essentially subjective and human. The following summarized description of the content and organization of the MOC course will probably elaborate this aspect of "managing the subjective SELF" further.

Me at Crossroads

I am at such a juncture in my life where in a couple of months' time the continuity of being at the receiving end of a formal education system for 20 odd years is suddenly going to break. Being a reasonably good academic performer over this long period, I have seen two things happening to me. One, the strength of my belief in a high degree of effort leading to a high level of performance has increased tremendously. Two, the strength of my belief in a high level of performance fetching me a reward (like grades, class rank, etc.) has also been boosted significantly. Going through the cases of Raju and Sanjay Dave, I realized that organizations where I am now going to initiate and build my career will not unconditionally support these two personal expectancies. At work place whether a particular effort will lead to performance, in terms of success of that effort, and whether the success will bring in recognition and other rewards, will be contingent on the objectives, self-interests and strategies of my subordinates, colleagues and superiors.

The presence of such externalities is the first change I will be confronted with. To the extent these externalities are manageable, they compose the subject-matter of Management of Change.

I derived two more learnings from the Career Orientation Module of the course. Both are aimed at producing a better fit between my job and myself. The first, pertaining to the inventory of work values, made me realize that Status and Creativity are my dominant work values; and so if I were to choose a job that did not have an aura of prestige around it in relevant constituencies within or outside the organization or if the job failed to present me with new challenges at regular intervals, I would feel miserable. I should therefore be overly careful in evaluating different job offers in general and should seek more information on the attractiveness of each of the offers on these two fronts: Status and Creativity.

The second learning pertained to an understanding of my dominant learning style. The class-exercise result revealed that I learn the best not so much by feeling about things but by thinking my way through and that when a problem presents itself, I learn to respond not by attacking its particular dimensions straightaway but by first theorizing about it and thus placing it in a context of generalized experiences. Understanding my dominant learning style has also made me conscious to trying out other styles on the job, when the latter are contextually more suitable.

A continuation of the learning theme was exposure to a systematic "learning from experiences" framework.

Negotiating my Way through the Traffic

The Career Orientation Module made me sensitive to the issues involved in searching for myself the correct road (right kind of job) and then the right lane (avoiding the initial problems of expectancy adjustments).

Thus, till this point, the task consisted of managing CHANGE when it is hurled at me. But, after this point, if I want to continue in the right lane and if I wish my career to gather momentum, I must open my intellectual haversack and start using my professional knowledge and skills. But doing this would imply a minor or major shift from the organizationís existing way of thinking about or doing things. Thus, I would now be trying to implement a CHANGE myself -- the second facet of Management of Change.

Therefore, in the Second Module of MOC, I learnt how ideas will not sell by themselves but will need to be pushed, how important it is to first develop a power base before trying to push a change through, what styles to adopt when I am advising my boss, how to mould my correspondence in line with the relative power positions of the receiver and how a strategy to implement a change must be chosen from among many available options based on an evaluation of advantages and disadvantages associated with each in a given situation.

How do I Stay Ahead?

In the final module, I gained an insight into the art of becoming and, more importantly, staying a successful manager by learning about the qualities of successful managers - encapsuled in eleven categories of managerial skills.