Last Updated on October 6, 2022
When in a crisis or time of exponential change, a company has two directions it can go:
Stay status quo – panic and make irrational decisions; or,
Create an impetus for change – listen, think, and reinvent.
The best time to do an organizational structure change to ensure it aligns with your overall strategy is during a time of great change—which is the case for many companies right now.
With the COVID-19 outbreak, every company has been affected to some degree—some have shut their doors, some have turned to employee layoffs or furloughs, and many have had to eliminate discretionary spending. Others have experienced the opposite effect and are working to keep up with increased demand.
The common scenario for all businesses is that each has had to adapt and change to some degree the way in which they operate—others better than some. As I have said to many of my clients and team members over the years, “dysfunction creates opportunity.”
Let’s be honest, every company is in some form of dysfunction now and most do not like to change. However, now is the time to transform your organizational structure to effectively and efficiently operate in the days, weeks, months and years ahead in this “new normal.”
So what can your company be doing now to kickstart an organizational structure redesign and be one step ahead of the competition?
Create the Urgency
When I ask an executive “Why are you changing”, I get many answers. “We need to cut costs” or “We need to be more efficient.” Sure, these answers are usually true, but they do not pinpoint the “why” behind their need to change.
As change guru John Kotter highlights in his 8-Step Process for Leading Change, successful companies create a sense of urgency statement “that communicates the importance of acting immediately.” The urgency could be centered around customer retention, revenue loss, or even regulatory measures. As mentioned by leading change expert, Daryl Conner, in his book, Managing at the Speed of Change, developing a burning platform is a critical component to highlight the urgency. Start with identifying the real problem and the “why” of the change, then understand the organizational pain points and begin to develop value propositions across departments to anchor to.