We’re restructuring again?????

There is that old saying, ‘…there are 2 certainties in life, death and tax’.  Today, I would like to suggest an amendment, ‘…there are 3 certainties in life death, tax and your next organisational restructure’.

It is inevitable that your business will restructure.  Whilst our previous posts have focused on specific organisational development techniques, this week we wanted to talk through the pros and cons of 2 different approaches to complete your next review.  Colloquially let’s refer to them as:

  1. Secret squirrel: it is a confidential exercise, whose existence is only known by a chosen few
  2. Consultation is key: you communicate more broadly, opening up both the project team’s membership and communication lines.

 Here is our view of the relative pros and cons of each option:

  • Let’s keep this tight (Secret Squirrel):
    • Pros:
      • Hard decisions can be made a lot easier: if you keep the membership small, and get the right executive decision makers involved, the hard decisions will be made a lot faster
      • You won’t distract the business: the broader organisation is none the wiser.Human nature dictates that where there is uncertainty there is distraction, keeping it confidential avoids this
      • You complete it faster: without the need to widely consult, timeframes can be compressed
    • Cons:
      • You need the right people: yes, this is a statement of the bleeding obvious, but the risk of working with a small group of executives is that they might not have the detailed knowledge required
      • It will surprise people, you will need a good change management plan: the distraction you avoid keeping the review quiet will need to be managed with a well thought out implementation and change management plan when announced
      • Leaks from the project team are damaging: leaks will destabilise the project team, potentially risk the outputs produced and complicate the change management required.

We need to consult (Consultation is Key):

  • Pros:
    • The change process starts at the beginning: publicising the start of a review provides you with an opportunity to get on top of your change management
    • Feedback from key stakeholders can be considered: you can identify all the subject matter experts who either need to be either involved or consulted through the review. Key stakeholders feel that they have been included
    • Trust can be built across the organisation: if you are successful in integrating your change and communications management, it will help build trust in the outcomes produced
  • Cons:
    • It is going to take a while: consultation will slow progress, that may lead to frustration from stakeholders which may require increased change and communication management
    • You cannot please all of the people, all of the time: opening up the review to feedback from different parties will increase its workload. Additionally, if the review is not perceived to be transparent in how it handles feedback this could adversely impact the success of its implementation
    • You will distract the business: the more people you involve or make aware of the review, the larger the group of employees you may distract.

Posted to Advisory on Thu 4 2018

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