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August - 2014 - issue > CEO Viewpoint
Why are Business Transformations so painful?
R. Ravi
Founder & CEO-Epiance Software
Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Epiance provides Business Process Improvement and Management Solutions, Simulation based eLearning Solutions and Knowledge Transfer solutions.

The pace of change has forced organizations around the world to create structures that can rapidly change and adapt to the new realities. Most of the processes in these organizations are automated through IT based applications. A typical large organization may have 50-200 of such enterprise wide critical applications. The rapidity of change necessitates frequent change management or complete overhaul of existing IT applications.

Business transformations, new application infrastructure and resulting changes are usually a gut wrenching experience. In the author's experience, one of the significant causes of failure of such projects is the inability to manage and enforce change in a smooth manner. Disruptive technologies aggravate the levels of change.

In an ideal scenario change should be a healthy process and individuals should respond positively to change. Innovation should increase the overall happiness and health of an individual and an organization. Doing new things, in a highly productive and efficient manner should be an enjoyable experience.
Yet in most cases people resist change, many are fearful of the result of such changes. The implementation process of IT applications themselves frequently involves excessively high levels of stress, impossible deadlines, blame games and greater conflicts between various teams. If multiple vendors are involved in a project the levels of conflict increase dramatically. It is not uncommon to see people suffering from effects of hypertension, sleeplessness and various other lifestyle issues especially during the phase of transformation. The human cost of such ill health can be dramatic and if only a study were to be carried out, the human cost can far outweigh the benefits that an organization may derive from such a transformation.

Why is this problem so common and prevalent? The fundamental core of what humans have become through evolution points us in the direction of an answer. When individuals are in touch with their real self, they are fearless, and unafraid of any change. Such individuals believe and trust in themselves. Change for them is just a harbinger of something new and exciting, an opportunity to experience newer and different sides of life. Such individuals like to challenge themselves to greater heights. They are unafraid of admitting their vulnerabilities and do not like to hide their weaknesses. Such individuals are the conscience keepers of an organization. If an organization has sufficient number of conscience keepers, it reaches a tipping point and individuals change within. Conscience keepers are the beacons of hope, health and happiness in an organization. They stand for authenticity and truth at all costs and give fresh perspectives. Inauthentic organizations may also hound such conscience keepers. The surest sign that an organization is devolving is the exit of such homemakers in the company. In contrast an individual who is not in touch with their real self exhibit signs of fear and insecurity. They fear challenge to their position and hence want to protect their turf at any costs. Such influence is divisive in an organization and these individuals create differences and gaps within teams. Fear of losing one's position, benefits, influence, and loss of job leads to higher levels of resistance to change.

One is not born with the ability to connect to the real self. This cannot be cultivated through intellectual pursuits or through seeking knowledge. Various practices also may not lead to such transformation. The surest way to this path is through true authentic experiences. Experiencing oneself is a journey that requires us to accept all aspects of ourselves and allow us to go beyond the conditioning of our body-mind mechanisms. Experiences of life mold us in a way that may not be in line with who we are. We incubate patterns that manifests as rigid behavior, set ways of thinking and feeling. These in turn create barriers that take us away from who we are. As one goes through this journey of self-discovery, life is filled with profound transformations, immense learnings and growth. Pernicious issues faced by organizations, individuals and entire human race necessitate such a journey. It no longer is a question of why but one of when and how long. The human species is at a crossroads today- growth, evolution, joy and abundance await us as we try experience our authentic self. By the same token the path to self destruction also lies in our hands. The choice has to be made here and now. Genuine intent has to precede action.

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