Fireside Chats and Changes in India

Ranjini Manian a change-master, Indian-style.

Last year, I had the pleasure of meeting Ranjini Manian through our mutual friend Barbara Annis. Ranjini, who serves with Barbara on the Women’s Leadership Board at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, is author of Doing Business in India for Dummies as well as founder and CEO of a very clever firm based in Chennai called Global Adjustments.


 I say “clever” because, as far as I can see, Global Adjustments provides everything that a non-Indian relocating to the subcontinent might possibly need to navigate the personal and practical changes required to make one’s way in a new part of the globe. Moving to India can be quite daunting, and requires the orientation that only an insider can bring. 

I have not moved to India, but I did experience the value that an insider sensitive to the requirements of change can bring when Ranjini provided invaluable editorial insights around a piece I recently contributed to the Economic Times (of India).  She also recently published this Fireside Chat with me in her own magazine, At a Glance, India’s only intercultural magazine for ex-patriots (soon to be called Culturama), also focused on questions of change for women, for teams and for India.

From this experience with Ranjini, I have gained valuable insight into how one thoughtful Indian thinks about change in a way that is quite different from how those in the West often express our reactions to change.  “People fear change” borders on cliché in our organizations, and managing change requires reducing fear, or so the logic goes. Not so, says Ranjini, or certainly not necessary.  To help ourselves move into new places both literal and figurative, please scroll down to Ranjini’s editorial letter in her most recent edition of At a Glance.

Her central message: it is necessary to both love and to let go for change to take place with grace.