Introduction Change is everywhere around us. New markets, totally new products, the obsolescence of electronic products, the IT influence on us, the negative aspects of the rat race and the like. It seems to engulf us everywhere and every minute of our lives.
In spite of all this, we need to understand how we can make the Change an integral part of our psyche and get right on top of it. There are five vital absolute imperatives in this regard. a) Time Management b) Going far ahead of the change in terms of our skills c) Creativity and Innovation d) Multi-tasking capabilities and e) a global mindset that sees the entire world as a market.
Time Management A minute gone is gone forever. Time is the only irreversible commodity in our life. It is so precious. Hence, at different stages, time management is crucial. Old methods will not do. For instance, a plus two student, preparing for his IIT JEE or NEET examination, has to network with peers from the same college or coaching institute or wherever and even burn the midnight oil. While doing this is a given, effective utilization of the night hours, in terms of learning what is required for the examination, and sufficient practice of the sample test papers, for instance, is vital.
For an entrepreneur, vital time management will mean listening to changing customer demands, re-designing existing products, introducing new products and so on. For example, in toothpastes, every single company has introduced the herbal variant in tune with the times, This is vital, as they have managed the time so well.
Effective time management, by eliminating all time wasters like long cell phone calls, should be totally avoided. Preparing a "to do" list and review of the list everyday is an integral part of the time management process.
Change will come to us only if we do it. Get head on into it. If it means that we need todo basic yoga breathing exercises between 4.45 AM and 5.15AM everyday, so be it. There can be no excuses.
Going ahead of the Change in terms of skills The more we are prepared for change in terms of new skills, the better. Basic IT skills like power point presentations, MS Word and MS Excel are vital even in the ninth standard. We need to get our children prepared and prepare ourselves too. Foreign language proficiency is these days so vital to the change process. For IT professionals, the emerging area of Artificial Intelligence is going to mean a lot and there will be a number of new courses in this respect. There is absolutely no escape here. Many teachers of mathematics are voluntarily embracing new methodologies taught by institutions like the Hey Math! and such other online packages. English language teaching has also undergone a massive metamorphosis. Such change is not only inevitable, but needs to be embraced by the students as well.
Creativity and Innovation We need to be creative. Innovation is nothing but getting our creativity reflected on something tangible. At an individual level, this has to reflect on superior work, on work that is always commendable, on what others can only admire. For example, Infosys Technologies, has several training programs that simply teke their employees to the next level. The training methodologies, the training inputs, the training structures are all designed towards one single major variable for success -- global competitiveness. Such is the vigor of creativity and innovation required in each of our lives. At the student level, this need not be only the first rank. It should be measured in terms of the adaptability of the individual, in dealing with several dimensions of the change itself. For instance, those engineers from IIT are streets ahead in terms of understanding futuristic technologies. NITs follow the IITs closely. This needs to be embraced by every other engineering institution in the country.
Multi-tasking Today, the world demands only multi-tasking abilities. Even teachers double up as marketing experts. How? Simple. If they produce very good results, the school will get good students year after year. Ditto for colleges and higher education institutions. Similarly, we need to become IT experts, good cooks at home, experts in understanding the easiest routes to reach office, experts in knowing every single thing about wise investments and so on. The list is endless. The "I-do-not-know" answers will take us nowhere.
Adaptability and agility is vital to this process. Look around for those who conquer change. They are also housewives. But good yoga teachers, good interior designers, and even investment managers who work from their homes. Their total work hours is more than fourteen. But they never leave their houses. The rest hours in between the different tasks and the convenience of flexi time, in terms of working from homes, is crucial. Women have done it. Thousands have done it in urban areas. Even in rural areas, multi-tasking is becoming so common. It has to be.
Global mindse - seeing the world as a Market Very simple - it is called exports. Thousands of women who pluck the flowers fresh everyday morning in villages near Madurai city, by 6AM, get them in the hands of women in Singapore within hours. Every small thing is exported from India. While this is for entrepreneurs, we need to find markets for our skills, and this is global. Indian Yoga specialists are minting money in US and Europe. Professional singers and dancers are doing the same. As individuals, any investment in new education or skills or both, today, will need to take us abroad, at some stage or the other. If this is our attitudinal disposition, we have embraced change.
So, when we take all the five imperatives and act on them, change will become part of our psyche. The real laboratories of learning are not the books or the videos on change. They are the real world examples of success, that we see all around. The real practical world should always teach us about change. It is very dynamic and we need to be ready for all the challenges. A holistic approach, embracing all the five imperatives mentioned above, will take us to the next level, in terms of making Change, a part of our psyche, today and for ever.