Strategic planning and operational control define only some of how you will arrive at your vision. In even the most automated sectors, how you execute strategy is driven by organisational structure, corporate culture and personalities. Whether your structure reflects those commercial and organisational realities is a central link between your vision and execution.
"Executing your vision depends on your structure reflecting your commercial and organisational realities "
Key initial questions include whether the ideal structure is still desirable after consideration of:
- Culture, both the current and that which you wish to instil
- Customer service, any risks to it and ideal outcomes
- Personnel issues, including motivation and knowledge of key staff
Where challenges are uncovered, immediate tactics or longer term strategies can be advised that account for the extent proposed changes.
Restructures and Organisational Design
Organisational design is at the root of how your staff operate, whether to their commercial advantage or disadvantage. Success finds the right balance between where you need your business to be versus how it functions now. Restructuring for long term success can be more complicated than what is necessary for generating specific results over a number of quarters. A frank discussion in a safe environment is necessary to specify which of these outcomes is required.
"Restructuring for long term success is more complicated than results over a number of quarters"
An appraisal of why a restructure is on your agenda can also be considered, identifying who the audience is and the positive overlaps between audience imperatives, commercial needs and time horizons. Discrepancies will either require a communication strategy or an adjustment of needs amongst one or more parties.
Careful analysis must be made of your customers' contact points with a proposed restructure. The quality of sales, relationship management, support and online service delivery IT teams are among functions that your customers experience frequently - their performance must be enhanced by a restructure or any reduced revenue accepted as costs for a more profitable objective.
"Customers experience your restructure first hand in the quality of their contact with staff who are motivated and can still get the job done"
Possible outcomes include deciding to move from initially desirable structures, which hoped to improve managablility, to more nuanced structures that respond to extant pressures. The exact opposite may also be the case in other companies. Examples include whether sales and relationship managers should be centralised in a vertical or are better placed closer to their product divisions.
These issues are often sectoral in nature or are driven by corporate history, particularly where there is a history of acquisitions.
People and Personalities
Restructures can excel strategically and technically but still fail. Highly focused and complete execution of a well crafted restructure will not succeed without catering for the human factor. Our experience is that great care must be taken at this stage. Inertia and organisational politics can result in unobjectivity or group-think.
"Restructures can excel strategically and technically and fail because they did cater for the human factor"
Change can also breed stress and disaffection among staff that can erupt and disrupt entire divisions. Staff can feel overlooked, unheard or ignored, rightly or wrongly. Rolling risk assessment of staff frustration can identify vulnerabilities and then mitigation strategies can be formed, ranging from promotions, restructures to negotiated exits. Loyal clients who experience degraded performance due to a restructure can also trigger friction amongst your staff, for example. It is often also the case that over-dependence on immediately irreplaceable junior staff carries the most immediate risks to client satisfaction.
Identification of corporate narratives and their reasons is key to evaluating your requirements versus the environment. This is of particular importance in companies enduring operational, financial or reputational stress, with the poor outcomes that can come from the organisational politics that result.
Changes in structure can benefit from an explicit knowledge management strategy to drive the creation of new functional teams.