Anyone who has worked or works for a large organisation knows what it’s like to be constantly restructured – part of a never-ending series of reorganisations that cause anxiety, confusion, delay and potentially take quite a while to bed down and be optimised.
And more often than not, reorganisations are unveiled suddenly, big bang! Almost like a proud moment when the creator unveils his or her cunning plan!
Three things people dont usually deal very well with are sudden change (actually, any change), uncertainty, and fear. Big bang structure changes almost always trigger all three.
Having worked for many years as a senior manager, I have created many reorganisations. I have learnt the hard way just how disruptive this is.
So what’s the alternative?
Most restructures in my experience are actually possible to implement in a series of small, incremental changes, where each change can be executed by talking privately or in small groups to just those people directly affected.
Even if the changes are all delivered in fairly quick succession, you can avoid the big stressful unveil and avoid that hugely disruptive impact when people feel that everything is changing so unfortunately they suspend belief and many things wait for the dust to settle before progress resumes.
I guess the mantra is ‘evolution not revolution’, but then you can still revolutionise an organisation with a well orchestrated series of small changes.
So next time you feel you need to restructure your organisation, consider doing it incrementally.
You might just be surprised how smoothly and painlessly it can be done.