Edit ModuleShow Tags

Let’s reorganize!


Published:

Do something! This is the feeling that all of us have had in leadership roles - at some point, you're tempted to reorganize to get better results.

Unfortunately, restructuring the company is often seen as a panacea that will solve all current problems. It plays into our desire to control and fix without the heavy lifting (e.g., strategic thinking, identifying expectations, performance management, coaching, etc.). Oh sure, restructuring is painful, but it's relatively quick and allows us a sense of control.

Restructuring is often a shortcut for leadership and a very poor proxy for developing sound strategy. Frequent casting about for a structure that will allow you to finally catch your competition, pump up revenue or stop losses is most often a signal of failed strategy and a leader who is action-oriented but perhaps a bit misguided. The question "How should we be organized to execute our strategy?" is preferable to the statement "We're failing; let's reorganize." Strategy, not failed results, should drive structure.

This quote is often attributed to Petronius (210 B.C.), an arbiter in the court of Nero: "We trained hard ... but it seemed that every time we were beginning to form up into teams, we would be reorganized. I was to learn later in life that we tend to meet any new situation by reorganizing, and a wonderful method it can be for creating the illusion of progress while producing confusion, inefficiency and demoralization."

Reorganizing your team structure and job responsibilities can be very effective in some situations. It is, unfortunately, a blunt tool often only pulled out when the wheels fall off. Three questions to ask yourself before you contemplate shaking up the team: 1) Am I reorganizing to better execute on our strategy or because I really don't have a strategy? 2) Will my customers be better or worse off as a result of this change? 3) What other hard decisions might I be avoiding by reorganizing? (Several years ago, I watched a CEO enact a painful companywide reorganization because he had one bad apple in a senior role that he didn't want to deal with.)

In tough times, it's natural to want to do something quickly, but restructuring often drags down the organization, torments our employees, kills culture and confuses our customers. The next time results are below expectations; think hard about where the problem lies before pulling out the organizational chart and an eraser!

{pagebreak:Page 1}

Edit Module
Todd Ordal

Todd Ordal is president of Applied Strategy®. Todd helps CEOs achieve better financial results, become more effective leaders and sleep easier at night. He is a former CEO and has led teams as large as 7,000. Todd is the author of Never Kick a Cow Chip On A Hot Day: Real Lessons for Real CEOs and Those Who Want To Be (Morgan James Publishing, 2016). Connect with Todd on LinkedIn, Twitter, call 303-527-0417 or email todd@toddordal.com.

Get more content like this: Subscribe to the magazine | Sign up for our Free e-newsletter

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Archive »Related Articles

10.10.10 Launches Cities Program Focused on Water and Infrastructure

From its inception in 2012, 1O.1O.1O has focused on inviting successful entrepreneurs to create market-based solutions to wicked problems in health, water, food, energy, learning, infrastructure, waste, security and climate change.

3 Markets Moving the Needle in Colorado Tech

Continuing the growth Colorado has seen in recent years will ultimately depend on future success of the companies, institutions and organizations emerging within our borders.

Prepare and Protect Your Business

Emergency preparedness and safety experts focused on three key issues to consider – and how to make a plan for your business.
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleEdit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module