Managing Change IS the Killer Behavior

Francisco D’Souza, Cognizant’s CEO, is fond of saying, “Managing change has become the killer behaviour,” for in our knowledge based markets, change is constant and its beta is only growing. The core tenets of industrial management theory were structure and control with the goal to limit deviations in behaviour and performance—accepted theory guiding shared service organizations before anyone foresaw how the internet would radically change everything. In our rapidly evolving markets today however, we need to find — and exploit — those deviations. Therefore the management of process must facilitate flexibility and adaptability and of course, efficiency. Shared service organizations undoubtedly drive efficiency but how well do they offer stakeholders flexibility and adaptability with their relentless focus on cost and the relentless march of process standardization?

Cognizant believes we are now at a significant shift-point in business process work and technology. Globalization, economic turmoil, maturing new technologies, and shifting demographics are taking many industries to a crossroads where today’s decisions can mean the difference between market relevance or, a ruinous extinction event. Our own market tracking confirms that “business as usual” approaches in banking, healthcare, insurance and other industries is already leading to performance degradation—and this is only accelerating. Many companies increasingly chained to yesterday’s operating models while leaders across multiple sectors see new challenges (and opportunities) based on re-imagining how work and technology couple up together: This is the future of work and where it happens and what it means is up for debate. Cognizant believes that early winners are re-orienting process work and the mechanisms that deliver it toward higher value offerings. New technologies are helping firms change work processes and the business models surrounding them. And where does process work take place? In the humble shared services centre. Watch out for our new analysis of shared services coming soon.