The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

May - 2012 - issue > In My Opinion

Managing Change Ability to Agility

R Ramanan
Managing Director & CEO-CMC Ltd
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
R Ramanan
Many organizations which have been around for quite a few years develop great Ability and competencies in specific areas over a period of time. Where they start stagnating or faltering is when they start becoming complacent with their past achievements, or allow bureaucracy to creep in to an extent that they lose desired internal as well as external customer responsiveness, or become excessively focused in ensuring top line growth while compromising on profitability considerations or not aligning to their core competencies. In that process they start losing the desired Agility in adapting to emerging market, technology and business trends thereby losing the Ability to ensure continuous sustainable growth of customer, stakeholder, employee, shareholder and societal satisfaction.

Often most of this is detected only after one or more of above factors have set in deeply in the organization. Course correction becomes extremely difficult because people and thereby organizational behavior has changed. People have got used to the current way of doing things, leading to a downward spiral. Any proposal to change is met with passive or active resistance at various levels, as it is too radical or too dreamy.

Managing change in such a situation is all about changing established mindsets. It demands constant communication through various channels for everyone to achieve their true potential with clear, consistent, inspiring messaging. It needs to be backed up with necessary organizational structures, organizational focus and process related changes to enable the achievement of the same. The end result should be to achieve a framework of great Ability combined with great Agility to enable continuous sustainable growth in revenues, profitability, customer, employee, stakeholder and societal satisfaction. We embarked on such a change initiative in CMC post acquisition by the TATA group, terming it C-Change – Ability to Agility, based on which we have experienced initial intended positive results, though it is still very much work in progress.

CMC 1.0

CMC has been one of the pioneering technology companies in India. Many industry veterans would remember its contribution in the computerization of Railways both on the passenger reservation system as well as freight management system which have been hailed as one the largest IT projects at a global level and a highly successful one at that.

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Reader's comments(1)
1:Thanks Ramanan for this valuable article, attempting to chronicle CMCs journey over more than three decades. It\'s worth a proper study as there aren\'t too many Indian organization which have demonstrated as much \'living-ness\' as CMC has.

I was a fortunate to be a member of CMC from 1983 and 1994 and have been an involved witness to the rise and fall that you have mentioned in your article.

As a conscience keeper Dr. Gupta held the enterprise consciousness as long as he was around. I wish he had created an able successor who could continue to do the conscious keeping. But then, may be, as a part of the systemic design it was not meant to happen. May be CMC, as a true living enterprise, was destined to go through the meander of life and yet stay alive to go through a process of transformational learning.

It is not that CMC was not responsive (agile) or customer-centric then. The hook-rug story, I am sure, and incidences demonstrating its practice are known to you. Thanks to Dr. Gupta and some of his far-reaching initiatives qualities such as these and many more values were coded in the DNA of the living, conscious institution he managed to get co-created. An institution which breathed, grew, moved, lost way, faltered and renewed itself with its own life force, not because but despite of its people. Had it not been for such values to have been embedded in its essence, CMC wouldn\'t have even survived, leave aside attracting TCS as a care taking memetic agent and the merger impacting organizational mind sets.

In my humble opinion, it would be a much more wholesome and meaningful experience for the TCS-CMC combine to reckon the sub-structure of enterprise essence and work with it than around it. Should you feel the need of further dialog on this feel free to reachme@indroneil.com.
Posted by: Indroneil Mukerjee - 04th May 2012
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