Practical Tips for Successful Organization Restructuring

If you’re doing an acquisition, merging, wanting to be more market or customer-focused, or restructuring to cut costs, the last thing you want to do is shuffle boxes and lines. I learned early in my career, and it’s been borne out over the years working with organizations ranging from start-ups to Fortune 100 companies, that with redesigns, there are three enormous traps:

  • Relying on gut instinct to do the redesign
  • Letting politics drive redesign decisions
  • Seeing only lines, boxes and reporting relationships as what is important.

Instead, make sure that you understand the current organization’s strengths and the cause of any limitations. Have specific design criteria based on your longer-term strategy — not on fixing current problems. And be sure to consider the impact of people, accountability, and culture, on how the redesign will work.

Three other key points:

  • Your strategy is (hopefully) unique. That means your organization design also needs to be unique, so don't go trying to copy what others have done.
  • How people interact makes a huge difference -- even in the digital age -- so pay attention to proximity and interaction.
  • Processes drive value, so a redesign needs to enable the few processes that drive most of that value.