Mehrzad Maneul Ferdows’ Speech on Flexibility in Change Management

Mehrzad Manuel Ferdows
4 min readMay 8, 2021

Mehrzad Manuel Ferdows, a leading entrepreneur, advisor, investor and industrial Engineering graduate from University of Southern California has given speech at a conference held in Dubai on the importance of flexibility in change management within manufacturing organizations. Mehrzad Ferdows pointed out the significance of change management and flexibility in change management in organizations. Change is an inevitable cycle in itself, and organizations go through various cycles throughout their lifetime. This cycle can simply be a relocating of a physical plant, automating process, introducing special equipment, streamlining redundant tasks and people who perform them. He stated that the biggest stumbling block for leaders in organizations is the fear of change. It is also challenging to ensure flexibility among employees in terms of possible changes as individuals mainly resist change. Understanding that individual change is the most challenging part in change management is of high significance i.e. leaders need to embrace differences, conflicts and resistance. If leaders take on the role of a good facilitator then their flexibility on how individual change is accomplished will reflect positively within the team.

Mehrzad Ferdows pointed out that flexibility in change management is a key factor resulting in more productivity. Flexibility can be defined by the amount of change (whether it is vast or includes every individual), resistance to change, type of change, and if the change is goal-driven or not.

Change Management in Manufacturing

Mehrzad Ferdows stated that because of the prevalence of advanced technologies, manufacturing is vulnerable to constant changes. In particular, these technological advancements make change management in manufacturing industry imperative. Unquestionably, guides and tool kits on managing changes in processes and equipment operation are consequential. Dealing with technical side of change in manufacturing organizations is not only inevitable but it is also recommended in order to keep the industry in line with the present and future updates. Guides to undergo the processes of change management in manufacturing organizations provide straightforward instructions on what should be done to make processes and equipment work. Mehrzad Ferdows noticed resistance to be the first and immediate reaction to significant change. He stressed the significance of flexibility in change management in manufacturing industries and pointed out that due to humanistic resistance, leaders need to be cautious while sending out a compelling message why the status quo cannot continue and that the change is for the good of every individual and the organization. He mentioned that harsh, inflexible demands will not work best whereas flexibility and time devoting processes may end in a more reasonable result both for the employees and the organization.

Flexibility in Managing Capacity and Demand

Mehrzad Manuel Ferdows pointed out that being overwhelmed and impacted by the sheer volume and speed of change initiative can be a major reason changes fail in organizations. Because it often leaves people stressed and that they will be left with the indigestible belief that they cannot be able to respond to key organizational initiatives. In order for an organization to manage change effectively, it must ensure that people have sufficient change capacity to be able to implement the really critical strategic changes. Mehrzad Ferdows stated that change capacity is a combination of people-based factors that affect the organization’s ability to adapt which include change legacy, implementation capacity, personal adaptability levels and change leadership style. He stressed that the greater the capacity to change, the more able the organization will be to execute transformational change and/or to simultaneously implement multiple change projects. Flexibility means leaders must rigorously manage total change demand- measuring, understanding and controlling the number, speed and complexity of all changes in the pipeline. Leaders must also evaluate the extent to which people are coping with the current change demands being placed on them. Mehrzad Manuel Ferdows stated further that leaders need to demonstrate their flexibility to monitor and manage all risks components i.e. the overall demand for change, the organization’s capacity to implement that change and ultimately the specific risk of an individual change initiative within the context.

Benefits of Flexibility in Change Management in Manufacturing

Mehrzad Manuel Ferdows stated that planning and executing the people and organizational aspects of change initiatives in manufacturing industries need to be implemented with a flexible methodology and supporting assessment and monitoring tool-kit helps to guide priorities, decision making and performance management. Organizations often rely heavily on external consultancy support in times of business-critical change projects with a high risk of failure. Furthermore, if a comprehensive, disciplined and systematic approach is employed, it can signify the success rates within the organization. Flexibility in change management will help in maximizing learning, building internal capability and increasing overall organizational capacity.

Mehrzad Manuel Ferdows concluded that in order to realize the full benefits from change, the organizations need to focus on managing people’s behavior, skills, and commitment to deliver successful implementation and as a result it is highly recommended to be led by people and technicians inside the manufacturing organization. He stated that major changes cannot occur unless people are flexible and shift their values, aspirations, skills and behaviors to keep up with the latest technological trends and management skills. When leaders and employees stay in a particular situation for a period of time they mainly develop established ways of thinking, feeling and behaving which are rendered by onslaught of major change. Mehrzad Manuel Ferdows stated that flexibility in change management ensures effective change management which means by providing the process, tools and techniques in a more adaptive method the people aspect of change will end in a more successful outcome, thus Resistance is overcome and necessary commitment will be built to manage the change.