Introduction – Change Vs Crisis
Man is naturally endowed with some positive but opposite life tendencies. We, the human beings, like serenity as well as adventure, enjoy isolation as well as association, adopt originality with novelty, chase imitation along with innovation, pursuit stability along with mobility, assimilate classic stuff and modern items, and so on & so forth . The presence of opposition tendencies may create conflicts at some occasions. A persistent conflict creates confusion mentally and divergence behavally. The situation may rob the stability or satisfaction level of a person, while the human beings want to live a stable-satisfactory life. In addition, human nature is dualistic, ie, static as well as dynamic.
The innate conflict creates crisis or / and impels change. Generally, the static aspect of human nature impels towards the durability of accrued successes of life while the dynamic facet of human nature impels towards better options of life, consequently, the composed life is disturbed, from time to time, due to inner dilemma. Lastly, human life is interactive phenomenon, the interactive situations compel towards change in life-pattern, now and then. Whenever a situation impels or compels for amendments, a person faces multiple options of adjustments. The situation demand adaptability towards conflicting pressures. A wrong or volatile adaptation may lead towards crisis, while a right or stable adaptation actualizes change.
Change means to become different, in reality or in appearance or in both. Generally, everything, either material or immaterial, is elemental as well as structural. The elemental aspect forms reality while the structural aspect shapes appearance. In other words, the very structure of things / persons / institutions depends on some basic elements. For example, human personality is dynamic combination of mindset and behavior, things are an outcome of idea and matter, and institution is systematic arrangement of human and non-human capital. A logical organization of basic elements shapes worthwhile things / individuals / institutions, for example, an essay explains an idea, it is composition of sentences, and sentences are shaped by words. A change of words / sentences / ideas will shape a different essay. A change is thus shifting / alteration of content or matter. A continuous change is essential aspect of universe, both animate as well as inanimate. At cosmic level, an effective change is an act of creation of natural phenomenon to realize Divine Ideals. At human level, an effective change is an intentional effort of a person towards something anew. It is noteworthy that Change Desire is inherent urge of human nature, persons chase relentlessly new options.
Crisis is a time of great confusion, conceptually and practically. During crisis problem is at its worst point, so that an immediate response is required to manage crisis. A crisis is a recurrence phenomenon of life, both individual as well as collective, however, crisis can be converted into change through intentional human endeavors. There exists some invisible-invisible links between change and crisis. Typically, crisis is arrival of unexpected change or wrong adaptation on change or severity towards change phenomenon. A true knowledge about change factors and wise response to multiple conflicts turns crisis into change. In addition, an intentional change may become crises due to mishandling of redundant aspects of change process.
It is noteworthy that a change must create some transitional crises. It is adoption of universal values or eternal principals that put a fence against redundant changes / wrong adjustments. During crises management, the realization of desired outcome is possible through root cause analysis of crises and objective management of change factors. It is pertinent to clarify the distinction between disaster and crisis. A disaster is a sudden calamity that can not be avoided / managed through grateful human powers or normal means, while a crisis is a hardship, partly expected and partly unexpected, and it can be avoided or managed through grateful human powers or normal means.
Nature of Change – Revolutionary / Evolutionary Aspects
Life is continuously growing phenomenon. Typically, things are developed through step by step process. For example, during essay writing, a person collections information, sketches the outline of essay, and starts sentence-making. The set of sentences around one idea shapes paragraph. The set of paragraphs around main idea shapes an essay. A person can improve his essay through better knowledge, words, & phrases. The enhanced knowledge / superior construction would improve the outlook of essay. Ultimately, a final draft of essay is shaped through a gradual process. The gradual development of something around an idea or foundation is called evolution. The slow progress is critical for sustainable adaptability. On the other hand, a revolution means shifting of central idea or redefinition of foundation.
For example, an idea is central during essay writing. Any change in idea will change the structure of essay. The new essay is revolutionary exit due to change in central or focal point. More specifically, an evolution maintains previous achievements and moves gradually while a revolution is heedless towards small achievements. A positive evolution is science-based and intellect driven effort while positive revolution is science-based and intuition-driven effort. During revolution person is focused towards idea or ultimate truth. It is noteworthy that, in totality, change is revolutionary-evolutionary phenomenon. The adoption of an innovative idea is revolutionary action, while the gradual improvement of idea and its proper execution are evolutionary works. The attuned revolutionary-evolutionary actions reinforce each other and shape a change. The creative / innovative propensity of mankind motivates towards revolutionary changes of persons / institutions / systems, now and then, while the habitual / imitative propensity of mankind is rather towards evolutionary changes. Practically, during revolution a quantum leap is adopted while a piecemeal effort is opted during evolutionary process.
Bases of Change
The very basis of every change is Divine Urge towards change, so that the natural scheme of creation is purpose-driven and dynamic. Human desire towards change follows the Divine-Pattern of change; it is purpose-driven and dynamic, too. Change is permanent feature of life, it is happening everywhere. Normally, change takes place at three levels – product, person, and institution. At product level, it is necessity that motivates towards change. The necessity-driven changes shapeventions and innovations. The journey of civilization is heavily indented to countless technological changes based on necessity phenomenon.
At individual level, it is human nature that inspires change. Human nature has three levels – potential, actual, and interactive. The potential nature is unconscious & spiritual, the actual nature is conscious and material, and the interactive nature is collective & cultural. The collective nature is partly conscious but dominantly unconscious. It is human nature that exerts pressure for change to manifest inner capabilities and / or to realize outer options. A change is either positive or negative. A positive change is fruitful for self and others while a negative change is harmful for self and others. For example, human personality can be changed; it can be made either harmful or fruitful.
The basic pillows of human personality are faith, knowledge, wisdom, and manners. Faith and knowledge are original practices while wisdom and manners are derivative behaviors. Any change in original practices changes reality of an individual while a change in derivative hits will alter the appearance of an individual. At institutional level, the very bases of organizational behavior are some success factors and a few performance indicators. The success factors are basic elements of organizational behavior while performance indicators are advanced features of an organization. Any change in success factors will change the structural aspect of institution while a change in performance indicators will alter the performance of institution. In institutional real, some variables are success factors as well as performance indicators. The dominant dualistic variables are leadership, strategy, business location, and customer care. These variables are utilized extensively during institutional crises / changes.
Worst Crisis – Individual & Institutional
The severity of a crisis is difficult to quantify due to multiple subjective aspects of crisis. Moreover, a universal ranking of crises is statistically impossible. Generally, mental or physical ailment is considered the worst personal crisis. The existence of a person to address properly the innate conflicts shapes worst individual crisis, ie, psycho-physical ailment. The crisis is worsened due to incompatibility of mindset / behavior with human nature. At institutional level, the worst interactive crisis is liquidity crunch. The very basis of liquidity crunch is improper time-management, low morale, arrogance during dealing, lavish or mis-spending-patterns, and ineffective leadership. Liquidity crunch creates conditions of urgency at institutional level. It may lead towards urgent sale of marketable items for ready cash. An urgent sale is generally a wrong sale. It is noteworthy that urgent efforts normally rectify the mistakes of others . By and large, the worst institutional crisis is avoided through effective time management, managerial courage on innovative ideas / institutional values, effective communication, and effective money management. These variables are highly supportive during crisis / change.
Institutional Crises & Effective Institutional Response
Institution is contractually defined and progressively evolved phenomenon of interdependent individuals, it works under the leadership of an entrepreneur. The natural life of an institution around an innovative idea is about 25 years. The innovative idea is a brainchild of innovative entrepreneur. During natural life, a redefinition or reorganization of institution is needed from time to time to maintain long run stability. An institution needs during its natural life two levels of organizational stability – lower and higher. The lower level stability is needed to manage a crisis that has been occurred due to some wrong steps, already taken. It demands efficiency (doing things right) in the institutional set up.
The lower level stability is achieved through implementing better managerial techniques such as benchmarking, TQM, and Quality Circles. The higher level stability is needed to manage a crisis that may occur due to some internal / external threats. The higher level stability environ is needed to avoid some forthcoming crises, anticipated threats. It demands effectiveness (doing the right things) at leadership / institutional level. It is noteworthy that the lower and higher levels of stability are mutually reinforcing, both are essential. They are inevitably required to cover multiple phases of institutional life or to complete the natural life of an institution or to make a safe transition of institution from one generation to next generation. An efficient-effective institution is stable during crises and well-performing during change.
Reactions on Change Effort
The ultimate rational of change is realization of better options of life. The beneficiary of change will determine the significance of change. A desirable change is win-win for all and sundry, at least in the long run. However, a change may create win-loose / loose-win / loose-loose situation for concerned persons. The situation will lead towards reaction from concerned persons. The beneficiary welcomes the change while the non-beneficential reacts. In addition, the beneficiaries are either eligible or ineligible, and they may also react wrongly. The eligible person can be managed through effective communication but the ineligible are managed only through judicial counter resistance. It is noteworthy that the ineligibles or cunning are always minority and they maneuver situation to reap maximum benefits of something. A strategic-tactical move is needed to manage reaction of corrupt or ineligible people. Generally, a communicative approach is required to convince eligible while a stick-carrot approach is applied to control ineligibles.
Failure of Institutional Change Efforts
Changes are initiated from time to time to improve institutional working. A wrong initiation or inappropriate progress or improper termination of change process leads towards crises; such crises indicate failure of change efforts. The failure is an outcome of multiple reasons, both conceptual as well as procedural. More specifically, the failure of change efforts is generally an outcome of static approach towards technological development, cosmetic approach towards human resource development, micro approach towards executive development, and quantity approach towards organization development. There are certain variables that play a significant role during successful crisis / change management.
1. Significance of Technology during Change / Crisis
Technology is manifestation of knowledge and utilization of wisdom. It is quest of mankind for better life options. Consequently, technology actually realizes better options of life for mankind. Moreover, superior technology itself is better option because it addresses pressing concerns of life. In addition, a challenge or threat is inevitable aspect of life. It compels towards adaptability. The scientific adaptability of persons / institutions means invention or innovation. A fruitful technology responses / preserves upcoming change forces and paves way for better changes.
2. Significance of Competition during Change / Crisis
Life is competitive-cooperative phenomenon. We compete with each other during life struggles. A change process must create some transitile dilemmas. During competition, an applicant may utilize maneuvered tactics towards transitional outcomes of change. The opponent can present passing ambiguity of change as forthcoming crisis through magnifying minor and eye-catching shortcomings, staff or stakesholders may loose interest at critical moments of change process, effective leadership is earnestly needed at these vital moments otherwise a positive effort may become a crisis due to wrong termination or halfhearted completion of change effort.
3. Significance of Time Efficiency during Change / Crisis
A crisis can be converted into change throughventions, innovations, and entrepreneurship. A person or institution faces multiple challenges. These Challenges are either chronic or acute. The chronic problems of an institution are – structural rigidity, low trust amongholders, communication gaps, absence of shared-vision, fragile discipline, and absence of integrity, esp., At leadership level. The chronic problems lead towards acute exit or crises such as liquidity crunch, workers turnout, litigation, burnout, and financial loses. An effective leadership receives signs of institutional problem timely and responds swiftly. A lethargic response at leadership level or micro response at system level converts problems into problems; a persistent negligence converts curable problems into some chronic problems. It is temporal intelligence, work momentum, and proactive behavior that may avoid acute outcome of chronic problems or may prevent chronic situation due to negligence.
4. Significance of Governance during Change / Crisis
At institutional level, some problem are infectious, they create and reinvent related problems. In addition, some problems develop networking and may convert into a bigger problem. The networking of problems is generally an outcome of bad governance or administrative corruption. It is bad governance that gives a permanent and bigger shape to small and independent problems. The two major menaces of bad governance are lethargy and corruption at leadership level. A merit-based system or good governance is vigilant to all problems at its earlier phase. The major chunk of problems is solved promptly / automatically due to meritorious system.
5. Significance of Synergy during Change / Crisis
At initial level of creation, things or persons or institutions are dependent. Overtime, they become independent; now, they are useful for self and others. However the benefit level remains low due to countless limitations. Human intellect / intuition discovered some interactive rules to enhance benefit level. The correct understanding and proper execution of interactive rules creates some extra benefits for all. The act of innovative addition of strengths or synergy is an important aspect of change management. The rule suggests that every new change, either evolutionary or revolutionary, must preserve the achieved benefits otherwise the very purpose of change, ie, accumulation of benefits, is defeated. The interactive rule suggests that cooperation between two consecutive / related excellent persons / procedures will produce more than double excellence. For example, an institution adds a new item in her service line, the new venture will require less investment, human and non-human, but it will create greater benefits. Or a strategic alliance among law consultant, IT consultant, and business consultant will enhance the effectiveness of a consultancy firm.
6. Significance of Leadership during Change / Crisis
Leadership is essential aspect of life. At institutional level, leadership is inevitably required during institutional change efforts. Leader / Entrepreneur initiates, sustains, and develops institutions. The entrepreneurial struggle encounters changes and crises. Leadership inspires during change and supports during crises. In addition, a crisis or change is practical test of leadership. An effective leader becomes great through effective change / crisis management, while a weak leader is polished during crises / changes. A crisis or change is thus a real test of leadership, only true leaders can mange crises or changes. It determines freshly area of effect of a leader.
Change / Crises Management is essential aspect of any entrepreneurial struggle. There is no hard and fast rule to manage crises / changes; it depends dominantly on leaders' profile. However, we can mention a few generalized aspects of an effective leader during change / crisis.
Firstly, leaders are farsighted conceptually and utilize forecasting, simulation, and guesstimate aboutcoming threats / challenges / opportunities.
Secondly, they adopt anticipatory measures to avoid possible crises or to capture promising opportunities.
Thirdly, leaders adopt supportive approach of management during crisis / change. They are inspirational during change and support during crises.
Fourthly, they respond to some real crises through proactive strategies / tactics rather than reactive strategies / tactics. During crises they remain P ositive, P ragmatic, and P atient. The approach and attitude mitigates loses.
Fifthly, they concentrate on better and new equilibrium of factors during multiple crises / changes as compare to previously achieved equilibrium. The innovative equilibrium is comparatively superior to earlier equilibrium.
Finally, they learn lessons from crises, openly and heartily.