CV Anand, a senior officer of the Indian Police Service (IPS) was assigned to lead the Food and Civil Supplies Department in the state of Telangana, India by the Chief Minister - the top political executive of the state. Since the role involved policy making and implementation relating to procurement and processing of grains, transportation and distribution to the poorer sections of the society, this was a highly unusual role assignment for an IPS officer. The organization had the responsibility of procuring food grains from farmers at minimum support price, and then after rice milling, arranging distribution to lower income population needing rice at subsidized rates. Anand observed a culture of ritualistic decision making, political power plays, and shortage of talent leading to the neglect of key aspects. The funds crisis had arisen due to non-receipt of dues and there were mounting interest charges. Certain parties were exploiting the system and getting away with it. There were archaic procedures, and corruption at different levels. Anand initiated multiple initiatives in the areas of: organizational aspects, technology and systems. He made conscious efforts to mobilize support. With passion, persistence and hard work, different stakeholders were influenced. Time, energy and commitment were allocated to high leverage activities. Within a year of assuming leadership, the result of turnaround was evident - the funds crisis had eased, bulk of leakages had been plugged and the system had become responsive to the needs of its key stakeholders - the farmers and the needy beneficiaries. Anand knew that he was on a short-term deputation and that he would be transferred to another assignment in the following six to eight months. He was concerned about what he should do in the remaining months to ensure that the changes stick and are not leader-dependent for their continuation.
Understand the functioning of an government organization involved with supporting the underprivileged population;
Examine the factors that lead to ritualistic decision making, helplessness and ineffectiveness in the face of self-serving behavior and political power plays;
Explore different actions that can lead to a successful turnaround of an organization;
Explore processes that lead to overcoming indifference and fostering ownership;
Examine the key role of influence and conflict management;