Change is a personal choice. You therefore need to take into account diversity in its many forms - technology, employee expectations, and cultural paradigms.
In conversation with Nishchae Suri - Partner & Head, People & Change Advisory, KPMG in India
I met Nishchae Suri at the KPMG office in Gurgaon. As soon as I had taken a seat he spoke passionately - 'Value maximization and hunger for constant improvement'. Why? I asked. 'Because I am not a status quo kind of person. I continuously want to spot talent and leverage their unique strength. Improvement can be done constantly and on-the-go.'
People and Change
Nishchae Suri, is a focussed professional who believes in the capabilities of people. He took charge of the 'People & Change Advisory' at KPMG India two and a half years ago. Along with his team, he is responsible for the service line that has propositions in area of Talent Development, Transforming the HR Function, Organization Design for Performance, Workforce Cost Optimization and Behavioral Change Management.
50 ideas a month
Interestingly, Nishchae and his team generate 50 ideas monthly. The ideas may originate from client engagements, books, dreams, experiences - you name it. Of the 50, they document one and may explore another, but the cycle is ongoing - motivating and driving people forward. He wants to give this practice a structured platform and enable people to continuously generate ideas and innovate. It also proves to be a great tool for him to spot talent and then support them in their growth journey.
Nishchae has terrific experience backing him, all in the field of HR Advisory and Change Management. From Hewitt Associates, to Mercer, to being a key initiator in setting up the School of Inspired Leadership (SOIL), and finally KPMG India. He is a man who cannot sit idle and is always on his feet. Meeting and talking to him, I wondered if there was that one experience, guided and implemented, which left an impression on him. Sure there was.
Change in business
In a previous role, he was responsible for leading a global business. Over a period of 90 days, Nishchae met with clients and their clients, increased his awareness of external factors impacting the business, and tried to translate his learnings into a constructive roadmap. The underlying idea was to create a shared mission statement, so that everyone is aligned to the same goal. He would scan for leaders, motivated to inspire employees and become the driving force. Everything from talent development, business strategy and branding was re-examined. For Nishchae, the learning, through this journey had been immense.
Key Learning's from transformation
Finally, I posed Nishchae the question, what were your key learning's from transformation and change management?
Nishchae responded with following insights:
  • Each person undergoing change is likely to experience fear of failure, worry of financial security and doubt of intentions. It is in slaying these three dragons within, that meaningful change can occur.
  • There is a heightening of risk (attrition, skill gap, legacy systems among others) that needs to be managed during change.
  • It is important to understand the value of a value. Values important to individuals and organisations evolve cultures that are resilient during change, help mitigate risk and align behaviours.
  • Address resistance up front through early engagement.
  • Be aware that culture change is a long and painful process.
  • Change is a personal choice. You therefore need to take into account diversity in its many forms - technology, employee expectations, and cultural paradigms.
  • Specific leadership skills and behaviors are necessary to bring about lasting change. These differ greatly from management skills.
  • Never underestimate the importance of stakeholder alignment. If key stakeholders are not with you, change will take that much longer.
The information contained herein is of a general nature and is not intended to address the specific circumstances of any particular individual or entity. The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of KPMG in India.
Feb 2016