Despite the pandemic affecting each person in different ways, it is clear that our lives are far from returning to normal. We are all navigating through increased uncertainty, heightened anxiety, and reevaluating the things we once considered guaranteed.
In light of the current circumstances, numerous organisations and teams find it necessary to review and adjust their structures or approaches in order to adapt to the changing environment. With this in mind, we believe it would be valuable to share our insights on organisational redesign. While the general principles we adhere to remain applicable, there are certain aspects that demand greater attention than ever before. We have revisited our 10 key recommendations, taking into account our recent experiences and the prevailing context.
Steps to Company Reorganisation
1. Emphasise the connection between design and strategy. In times of increased uncertainty, it becomes even more crucial to foster a shared understanding. When considering organisational design, strive for clarity regarding the strategy. Moreover, view organisation design as a chance to involve individuals in shaping and executing the strategy. In workshops, we often witness moments of clarity when the implications of a strategy memo become apparent. This is particularly important in the face of rapid change.
2. To effectively implement the strategy and ensure future success, it is crucial to establish a compact yet inclusive design team. By providing a concise directive and offering appropriate facilitation assistance, this team will be able to create designs that align with the overarching strategy and address future needs. Furthermore, fostering a sense of ownership among team members is paramount to the success of the new design.
3. It is crucial to remain transparent and open in your communication efforts. In the past year, there have been notable instances of CEOs and leaders effectively practising open communication. This is of utmost importance because mistrust and suspicion tend to flourish when there is a lack of information. The same principle applies to the work of organisational design—ensure that you prioritise clear communication, conveying the process and decisions to individuals outside the design team.
4. Create a comprehensive evaluation of the current situation, highlighting both strengths and weaknesses. Present this evaluation, including any flaws or imperfections, at the beginning of the redesign process. This allows all stakeholders to have a shared understanding of the context from which they can collaborate.
5. To effectively embark on a redesign or restructuring endeavour, it is crucial to prioritise the process rather than fixating on the potential outcome. Many individuals tend to speculate about the future of individuals and roles once such changes are initiated. However, our expertise indicates that the key to success lies in establishing a solid redesign process. By ensuring a well-defined and efficient process, you can achieve positive outcomes, even if the specifics are not yet apparent.
6. On the other hand, be cautious of quick solutions. These could be superficial proposals created by someone like the CEO or an expert consultant, hastily presented as “the solution.” While it may not be entirely misguided, it lacks the necessary level of shared responsibility within the organisation for successful execution.
7. When it comes to redesigning work for an organisation, it is crucial to strike a balance between efficiency and thoroughness. Though the process should not be rushed, it doesn’t necessarily have to extend over several years. Based on our expertise, we recommend allocating approximately 6-8 weeks to develop a carefully planned and resilient organisational design. However, it is important to note that the implementation of the design will require a significantly longer timeframe, as mentioned in point number 9.
8. Foster creativity. The design procedure should promote innovative and unconventional thinking. One prominent example witnessed this year is the shift towards virtual and multi-site teams as the new normal. This situation has also shed light on the potential for creativity within the process itself. Our clientele has been pleasantly surprised by the level of excellence they have achieved through virtual interactions as opposed to face-to-face meetings. This circumstance has even prompted us to create an application that facilitates virtual organisational design processes. As the saying goes, Necessity is the driving force behind invention and innovation.
9. When undertaking a substantial redesign, it is crucial to anticipate and plan for the necessary implementation resources. This includes allocating leadership time, securing HR support, facilitating internal communication, and coordinating the project. Being aware of these requirements beforehand will prevent any unexpected surprises during the process.
10. Consider implementing a transition support plan to ensure a smooth adjustment period. When individuals assume new roles that involve managing core business functions such as establishing new performance indicators, implementing effective governance processes, and assembling new leadership teams, they also need to provide emotional support to their teams as they navigate their own transitions. Under normal circumstances, it usually takes about six months for individuals to fully settle into a new organisational structure. However, given the current context, this timeframe may be extended, and failing to offer appropriate support could hinder the realisation of the benefits associated with your redesign.