You are here

Alchemy of Change

Alchemy of Change
Managing Transition through Value-Based Leadership

February 2020 | 264 pages | SAGE Response

Change is inevitable and usually painful. A spoonful of empathic leadership, a smattering of new tools and a few sachets of foundational values boil together to create organizational transformation. However, not all change efforts are successful. Alchemy of Change shows that value-based institutions, which evolve from the wisdom of the soil, can bring about enduring change.


Introducing the Indian Model of Change, which is based on Indian values of leadership, dialogue, mutual respect, and goal setting, the authors explain how the nuances and distinctions of the Indian mindset and cultural backdrop can help to keep pace with today’s fast-changing world. Through real case studies and references from diverse literature, the book shows that change management cannot be treated as a mechanical exercise because change affects and is affected by human emotions, both at an individual and collective level. It is an insightful read for senior management and HR professionals, for all stakeholders who are entrusted with the task of facilitating or bringing about change in an organization, as well as students of change. For the general reader, the book can be a journey in self-awareness and growth.

Foreword by T. V. Rao
Part I Change is a Fascinating Kaleidoscope
Change Is Life, Life Is Change
Anatomy of Change
Changing Organizations
Part II Experiences of Change
Mega Corporation: Challenging Old Paradigms
AG Corporation: A Change That Reinvented a Corporation
Akash Corporation: Lip Service Does Not Bring Change
Part III Manage It or Be Ready for Oblivion
The Blueprint
Preparing for Change
Vision for Change
Building a Dominant Coalition
Designing Change Strategy
Handling Resistance
Sustaining Change
Part IV Your Toolkit for Change
It’s a Team Game
Culture of Learning and Innovation Helps
90 Per Cent of Change Management Is People Management
Who is Holding the Reins?
Unleashing the Power of Infantry
Part V Leadership: The X Factor of Successful Change Facilitation
Leadership and the Need for a Change Leader
Value-based Leadership and Successful Change
Part VI Culture and Values as Vehicles of Change
Influence of Culture and Indian Culture
Values as General Ideals and Standards
Indian Values as Civilizational Backdrop
Part VII Indian Model for Driving Change

Indian wisdom and value systems are one of the most amazing and fascinating strong foundations of knowledge. It’s really commendable to see that Eastern thoughts are blended in this book, which facilitate the integration of knowledge, application, experience and practice on the Indian corporate playing field. This book is going to be one of the very interesting collections for any student, learner, practitioner, thought leader or even for researchers for any kind of reference at any point of time in their life. I wish the authors great success with this book. I see the practical use of this book in my own research as a really handy guide, whenever I look for management of change.

Dr Rajeshwari Narendran
Prof ML Sukhadia University & Director Academy of HRD, Ahmedabad. Ex-President, ISTD

It was delightful to read the book Alchemy of Change: Managing Transition through Value-based Leadership. Both the authors, Dr H. N. Arora and Rajan Sinha, are scholarly practitioners. They bring in the text their deep insights to explain various issues pertaining to organizational change. Their deep familiarity with Indian spiritual traditions and value systems has been brought to good use. This can be of considerable value to Indian scholars and those in other countries. Their ‘Indian Model for Driving Change’ is a valuable addition and can be useful for researchers and practitioners. The model has the potential of expanding itself into a larger treatise. The simple and lucid style of writing makes the reader enjoy the text. It is a unique combination of information and wisdom.

D M Pestonjee
Chair Professor, School of Petroleum Management, PDPU, Gandhinagar and Ex-Professor, IIMA

Rare book on change management where the authors have shared their actual experiences of facilitating change through three case studies, related them with global literature on change theories and ultimately presented change model specifically relevant for Indian culture. A must read for business leaders, human resource professionals and scholars with interest in change management.

Dr Arvind Agrawal
Partner, Global HR Lead Partners LLP, Former President Corporate Development and HR, RPG Enterprises and President, National HRD Network

Arora and Sinha have put together a useful compilation of case studies and practical examples from the industry. This approach makes the book a valued reference even for experienced HR professionals. The book provides a refreshing perspective, devoid of stereotype and cliched description. Instead, they have leveraged their legendary thirst for reading Indian scriptures and history and have provided a uniquely balanced viewpoint. I feel this book will be a treasure trove not only for the students but also for seasoned HR practitioners.

Dr Aquil Busrai
Aquil Busrai Consulting, Former Director HR in IBM, Shell Malaysia, & Motorola

The change has been the lifeblood of human kind, who has evolved over thousands of years from amoeba to chimpanzee to Homo sapiens. These changes transform not only the organization but the leaders themselves at many times.

The authors, through their in-depth research, bring out a plethora of change practices that seem to be set amid a spectrum of several solutions, provide a coherent yet diverse perspective and create a successful alchemy for change.

This is a must read book for entrepreneurs and business leaders as well as students, who understand that quite often change management is like a process of metamorphosis that drives leaders and teams to pass through a valley of death with courage, determination and resilience.

Prof K K Sinha
Dean, Executive Education, BIMTECH, Former Director (HR) NTPC, Reliance Energy, Jindal Steel and Power Ltd

Alchemy of Change is indeed a labour of love. It is a product of brilliant combination of academic erudition and professional exploration. Arora and Sinha have narrated in this volume a few Indian corporate ‘change stories’ and how they fit, not fully though, in the conventional (Western) theoretical framework of change management. The book captivates readers with fascinating stories, insightful anecdotes and useful theory frameworks. The authors have been courageous to view transition management, based on their rich ‘personal corporate experiences’, from a different lens of native wisdom. They have suggested and argued for, quite powerfully, an Eastern Indian model of managing a sustainable transition for well-being of all stakeholders. This is surely a seminal contribution. Change implies giving up the old and adopting new ways of thinking and doing. This book fulfils this statement, quite well. Very readable and stimulating work.

Dr V P Singh
Distinguished Professor, Universities and Ex-OD Advisor, Patanjali Ayurved

The need to understand and respond to change, in this everevolving world, will always remain a contemporary pursuit. Heraclitus had aptly observed that change is the only constant. On this vital aspect of leading change, the authors have endeavoured to blend Western thought with Eastern wisdom, particularly Indian values, with examples that illustrate and insights that illuminate, which are easy to understand and are practical in application.

Dr NS Rajan
former Group CHRO and Member of Executive Council, Tata Sons and ex-Global Leader of People & Organization practice, E&Y

Change and its management is inevitable in 21st-century organizations. The authors present the art and science of it in a very lucid manner in this book. They underscore the significant role the mindset and culture (both within the organization and outside in the society) play in this often chaotic journey. Indian leaders, who are either starting on or in the midway of a change journey, will hugely benefit from the authors’ deep expertise shared through this very context-focused book.

Navaneet Mishra
Country Manager, Hexagon Capability Centre India Pvt. Ltd, Hyderabad

I appreciate and acknowledge the immense passion and in-depth, insightful transition process objectively captured by the authors together with more than eight decades of impeccable corporate professional expertise, conceptualising a new paradigm shift to successful change management using Eastern philosophy and aligning with Indian culture.

I admire their efforts in sharing life’s learnings with authenticity, practicality and honesty. Culture and values have been thoroughly evaluated with greater relevance to the traditional beliefs of the very essence of Indian philosophy hitherto untapped in management practices. I am personally aware of immense keenness, extraordinary efforts of the authors, great research instinct, voracious readership and great spiritual maturity in their thought process with conviction. Practical industry examples, both in public and private sectors, have been extensively referred to judiciously.

I feel extremely proud of the authors for believing, showcasing and creating awareness amongst knowledge- and guidance-seeking professionals, academicians, researchers and practicing managers/ business leaders.

L S Murthy
COO, Radiant Technologies Inc., USA

A few years back, Dr H. N. Arora advised us on change management. He has created a benchmark on value-based leadership that, I’m very confident, will be useful to all professionals in creating hurdle-free change. Chapters and case studies in this book are best examples of transformational leadership where a leader is not blindly followed but respected because of trust-based management aiming at common and collective goal of organizational performance. I’m sure that the book will be beneficial to all leaders and professionals.

Atul Sanghvi
Executive Director and CEO, Cera Sanitaryware Ltd, Ahmedabad

For instructors

Please contact your Academic Consultant to check inspection copy availability for your course.

Select a Purchasing Option

ISBN: 9789353287610