UK: Reorganise Successfully

Last Updated: 7 November 2012

This article covers the six principles of successful reorganisation for any business.

  1. Start with the business strategy

The new organisational model should enable and catalyse the direction of the company. If the strategy is not clear, the organisation can't align behind it. In the case of one of our clients, the need to move decision making closer to consumers and markets was a clear strategic shift that prompted other changes and discussions.

  1. Go further than your organisation chart

You must have the right people sitting on the bus in the right seats in any change initiative. However, this is not enough for success. Address your systems and processes, decision-making authority, metrics, career paths, policies, incentives and talent management.

  1. Remember, one size does not fit all

Any robust organisation model will apply in different ways in different situations. For example, decentralisation of a business may be the main theme but there will also be functions and markets where centralisation will serve your customers and the company better – particularly for a very large organisation where you may be able to leverage your scale. If this is the case for you, don't hesitate to make exceptions.

  1. Have detailed planning pre-launch discussions to allow you to move faster later

Major changes work best when the key stakeholders have had their chance to articulate their concerns and when the team involved in the decision have had time to think through the implications of the new model and establish some guiding principles. The detail of these discussions may cause some initial frustrations, but it will also build a sense of collective ownership. This can then lead to the development of the road map that will allow the company, in the long run, to run more decisively.

  1. Leverage the power of the leaders

If you do not have the support of the senior leadership of your organisation, there is a great chance of a spectacular failure. However, verbal support is not enough. Ask your senior leaders and an expanded group of senior managers to be involved in hammering out the details of the new model to keep it moving forward. Involve executives in all major proposed changes, for example by critiquing the changes and keeping them on track, and talking them through with other executives who might be affected.

  1. Expect a multi-year journey

Even the best-planned changes will require some course correction, and some will work best if done in phases. Once the new organisation structure is in place and working, shift attention to building high-performing teams.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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