In Search of Change Maestros

Article excerpt

In Search of Change Maestros By Pritam Singh and Asha Bhandarker Publications, New Delhi, 2011, Pages: 481, Price: ?850 ISBN: 978-81-321-0586-2 (HB)

Dr. Pritam Singh and Dr. Asha Bhandarker, both are known for their scholarly and academic contributions in the discipline of leadership. In Search of Change Maestros is an attempt by these two to appreciate the seven wealth creators and institution builders of contemporary India. These change maestros have one thing in common; vision and fortitude to create world class corporations. The book is based upon the empirical research which is presented in the form of seven cases to study the leadership style and quest for excellence of some of the most recognized leaders of Indian corporations. The seven change maestros included in the book are Kumar Mangalam Birla, M Damodaran, Sajjan Jindal, Κ V Kamath, Sunil Bharti Mittal, A M Naik and Kiran Mazumdar Shaw. These business leaders are wealth creators who have a high moral authority, business acumen, high passion and zeal for the larger purpose.

Authors have maintained high level of research standards by using the theory building approach of Grounded theory model to arrive at an emergent model of change maestro's profile. The uniqueness of this book lies in adopting multiple modes of data gathering-structured questionnaires; un-structured and in-depth interviews; and anthropological inquires and also from multiple sources-the change maestros themselves; their family members and top management of the corporations led them. Change maestro inventory was developed and adopted to understand the characteristics of these leaders. Interview data collected from various sources were processed using content analysis method to systematically identify properties of large amount of textual information and arrive at a meaningful reading of content.

The book has been organized in ten chapters. Chapter 1 "Change Maestros Kaleidoscope" makes an attempt to map the path followed by leaders to become change maestros and also sketched the contours of research design used in the study. Based upon the existing literature the eight salient principles and action architecture which are key in the making of change maestros were identified as contextual sensitivity compelling vision and purpose, winning streak, people connect and engagement, meaningful contribution with speed, creative destruction for transformation, evolving self and culture architecture. Chapters 2-10 are detailed and independent case studies on each of the seven change maestros, highlighting profile sketch of their respective firms, action architecture and cultural landscape they have built and profile and persona of change maestros. Chapter 2 titled as, "Kumar Mangalam Birla: Looking Within, Looking Around, and Looking Beyond", describes Κ M Birla as a leader who has not only inherited greatness by virtue of being born in India's pre-eminent industrial houses but has also achieved greatness by his work. He has rightfully earned the distinction of being called one of the youngest and the most dynamic businessmen in India. Chapter 3 titled as, "M Damodaran: Renaissance Artiste", describes Damodaran as a renaissance artiste with exceptional capability of managing change with continuity, optimism and integrity, with this spirit; he reenergized the future of two giant companies-UTI and IDBI and brought back the lost glory and trust of the people in them.

The case study, "Sajjan Jindal: Romancing Limitless Growth", in Chapter 4 talks about the odyssey of Sajjan Jindal, his idea of limitless growth of his company and his quest to reach higher and higher. …