Change Isn’t As Easy As It Looks

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The Symbiosis Centre for Media and Communication (SCMC) on 27th August 2022 hosted Dr Sushil Mavale for a guest lecture on organisational change and management. With experience in the diverse fields of pharmaceutical sales, entrepreneurship, IT project management and academia, Dr Mavale has had a distinguished career. While working for Switzerland-based pharmaceutical company Novartis, he was awarded the best Sales Performer in Beijing, China. He is also a subject matter expert with McGraw Hill, and was associated with the Symbiosis Centre for Management Studies, Pune, teaching various courses on marketing. Having completed his MBA in Marketing and Ph.D in Organizational Behaviour, he has written more than 20 research papers on topics ranging from human resource management and job satisfaction to cryptocurrencies.

Currently, he is associated with the IT company, NSquare Xperts, and is responsible for project success and presales. He is managing various teams consisting of more than 50 Microsoft Dynamics and Salesforce CRM developers at the company.

Through his session, Dr Mavale gave students an insight into industry operations. Although it was from the perspective of the IT industry, the session helped students gain a nuanced view of the hierarchical organisational structures. The session began with Dr Mavale asking the ‘front-benchers’ of the class to switch positions with the ‘back-benchers’. Through the apparent friction, he explained that change is questioned and sometimes tricky.

With the help of the famous quote, ‘Change is the only constant in life’, he described the various facets of organisational change within a professional setup. He explained how the dynamic is completely different between employees of an organisation and one’s family, and that the two should never be compared. Through conversations with students, he explained the differences between personal and professional goals, and different leadership styles. Students learnt how, in an ever-changing and dynamic corporate world, organisations do not want to continue with an autocratic leadership styles, and are gradually adopting ideas such as ‘moonlighting’.

Through various in-class activities, such as seeking volunteers among students, he explained how change is not easy to adapt to even when it seems unapparent. He also gave various real-life examples, from road safety to public sanitation, to explain how corporates implement change – creative solutions like a ‘fly sticker’ and visual imagery on cigarette boxes can go a long way in effecting long-term changes.

The class was then divided into groups to discuss the various perspectives around the work-from-home (WFH) model, with the ‘hybrid model’ emerging the clear winner. Dr Mavale also delved into theoretical concepts such as the ADKAR (Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability, Reinforcement) model and Lewin’s model of change, concluding his session with a quote from Sheryl Sandberg, “We cannot change what we are NOT aware of, and once we are AWARE, we cannot help but CHANGE.”

The session, while being interactive, helped students learn about complex concepts through simple analogies, anecdotes, and even memes.

Abhigyan Chakravorty
(Batch 2023)