Organization Redesign: Is the Cure Worse than the Ailment?
According to a popular management joke, new executives should blame their predecessors when facing their first crisis. When facing their second crisis, they should reorganize everything.
Jokes are funny when they’re seen as plausible. Reorganizations show action, produce change, and create opportunities for new leadership. Unfortunately, they also tend to paralyze the workforce while the change is being planned, and then confuse or confound them as the reorganization is implemented. Are reorganizations worth the disruption?
Certainly, organizational redesigns are sometimes necessary to align the organizational structure to new mission needs and realities. Often, they cause more damage than they solve because the underlying challenges have nothing to do with organizational structure. Without a clear understanding of how current challenges relate to mission and capability needs, or a more sophisticated understanding of how to build capability, many executives turn to this blunt instrument that is often seen as a commitment to rapid change.
New organizational structures bring new relationships and identities, but they don’t necessarily address key leadership or process shortfalls, and they do nothing to address underlying culture, skill, or technology needs.
Many executives reorganize to try to improve collaboration, but employees collaborate when they are motivated and able to do so (with the proper incentives, skills, processes, and tools) regardless of whether their colleagues happen to share the same box on a PowerPoint slide.
At Arc Aspicio, we take a holistic approach to organizational improvement. We apply the appropriate improvement action from a toolkit that includes strategy, process improvement, culture optimization, training, hiring support, leadership development, technology support, and (yes) organization redesign methods, accelerators, templates, and techniques.
We agree with those executives who believe that the correct action to take in a crisis is one that will deliver tangible long-term improvements rather than just show a flurry of activity.
About Arc Aspicio
Arc Aspicio is a management, strategy, and technology consulting firm that takes a mission-oriented approach to complex client challenges. As a rapidly growing company, Arc Aspicio has a bold strategy for 2016-2018 that drives growth through new capabilities in strategy, design, human capital, data analytics, information sharing, cybersecurity, and strategic communications. The company is known for a strong, collaborative culture that values gratitude – for its clients and its great team. And, #welovedogs! Follow us on Twitter @arcaspicio or learn more at www.arcaspicio.com.