Change ain’t no good! Transform we must!

Sunday, 10 December 2017

By S Narendra
Former adviser to PMs & Ex Spokesperson, Govt of India

Transform or Perish - the Focus of the 12th PRCI Global Conclave to be held in Pune in March 2018 is a continuation of PRCI’s attempt to expose the Communication community to the emerging challenges ahead. Last March, we had zeroed in on Disruption. In a modest way, the Conclave hopes to enable fellow professionals to tap the potential for making Communication a dynamic and innovative force and responses.
A recent McKinsey Global Institute report is titled Disruptive Technologies: Advances That Will Transform Life, Businesses And The Global Economy. The advances are coming in a cascade, leaving no aspect of life in any geography untouched. The transformational technological advances demand of every human being, and organisations ,public, private, created for the welfare and progress of the  human beings on this planet, to not just adopt ‘change’ but to transform, to be in the vanguard. Or sadly, left behind.

The dimension of the transformation challenge requires a collaborative global leadership, that has to work with the national leadership, that works with local leadership. Such a leadership has to emerge in several fields, in most cases from within the organisation and its several levels. That is because a new Political-Economy of the Future is being created with or without the consent of the political sovereign powers; not to speak of The Blockchain technology and Bitcoin are worrying examples. No borders and no intermediaries. Uber and Airbnb intruded on this old concept of sovereignty of ‘states’, and in some cases doors were kicked open. The digital challenge operates in a new political and economic ecosystem. If that is the plight of border conscious ‘sovereign’ states, one can only imagine the impact on other less powerful entities.
In an  earlier era, management gurus focused on ‘change management’. Adjusting or adopting and adapting to change meant putting in place processes, a route map towards a destination. There was some time for ‘change’ to be accepted and adopted. It could take place in stages. In the emerging tech world of innovations, the demand is for transforming organisations, its workers, preparing for a journey into an uncharted territory. Whole scale technology -led disruption could arrive without notice. What is demanded of organisations and their leadership in the merging situation are: to be alert, assess the threat as well as the opportunity potential. But in the real world, the challenge is much more complex to face than such a simple formula. Watch this space for more on Transform 0r Perish.


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