When people hear that a reorganization is in the works, there’s a tendency to think it means a new org chart. While structure is critically important, organizational redesign is so much bigger than inserting names in boxes and determining reporting relationships. A redesign is all about understanding an organization’s operating model and aligning its structure, people, processes and ways of working with the overall strategy. Our team is now supporting a large federal government agency to do just this, prompting me to share some thoughts on how an organizational redesign can enable greater resilience and agility to adapt in our fast-paced world.

Top down, bottom up

Resigility’s road to reorganization can be characterized as top down and bottom up. Given recent pandemic disruptions and rapid moves from in-person to remote and now hybrid work environments, it’s essential for leaders to be cognizant of employee fatigue resulting from near-constant change. While leaders must define and articulate the organization’s vision, direction and objectives, employees must be engaged and view themselves as redesign co-creators to earn buy-in and produce a successful outcome.

Where to start?

So how does a business or government agency start an organizational redesign? For Resigility, we begin by meeting clients where they are, bringing our best practices and experience to the table. We hold extensive conversations at all levels to gain insights about the organization’s operating model, current state and challenges. After conducting this research, we collect and analyze the data, then lay out recommendations, which may include some type of redesign or an altogether different go-forward plan. The final step is partnering with the organization on implementation.

Resigility welcomes the opportunity to help organizations adjust to changing conditions, overcome hurdles, better achieve goals and serve customers. Whether you use consultants or in-house talent to redesign your organization, here are a few lessons learned from the reorganization front lines:

 

Lessons learned

  • Take an objective look at previous redesign efforts—what worked, what didn’t—then pinpoint obstacles to identify key drivers for change.
  • Don’t immediately jump to a reorg. Look holistically at your operating model, processes, issues, and the ways you create and deliver value to customers. Small modifications here and there can often be the solution.
  • Thoroughly assess your organization’s culture, values and beliefs. You may find the organizational design is fine, but a culture change initiative is needed.
  • Identify what systems are necessary to get the work done and measure progress. Technology is obviously a huge component in today’s organizations and a data modernization drive may reduce or eliminate manual operations.
  • Accept that redesigning organizations or procedures likely needs to happen more frequently than in the past, particularly given how quickly things can shift.

With regular reviews of your organization, you’ll be able to make incremental updates, address new opportunities and challenges, identify indicators requiring attention, build resilience and agility—and avoid simply focusing on org-chart boxes!

Jason Guthrie

Vice President – Strategy, Resigility