With the current pace and rate of change, flexibility and agility are imperative. Several organisations have entered the year optimistic about what the future holds. Strategically positioning the organisation for success is a key priority of businesses emerging from the effects of the pandemic as well as responding to the current global challenges.
Organisations are restructuring to regain their competitive edge, to innovate, or take advantage of emerging customer trends. However, driving significant transformation through a restructure is highly dependent on the adaptability of the organisation. Its culture and change management processes are fundamental to this undertaking. A thorough understanding of an organisation going through a restructure allows the change implementors to develop the processes and methodologies that influence positive outcomes.
Importance of change readiness
A key component of implementing an organisational restructure is the organisation’s overall change readiness. Teams tasked with managing such a change need to examine several factors to design a change strategy that will deliver the desired outcomes. Depending on the size of the change, readiness can be assessed from multiple points of view. The size of the change for the organisation, whether radical or incremental informs the change execution strategy. The degree of impact of the change on employees and the capacity of the organisation to assimilate the change are critical to change implementors to manage expectations. Other areas that implementors will assess to determine change readiness include organisational culture which plays a crucial role in the adaptation and efficacy of change, resources allocated, and alignment to the strategic intent of the change.
Change readiness must also critically examine the people factor. Those to be affected by change risk being disenfranchised if they are not ready for the organisational restructuring. Change resistance and fatigue, poor engagement either through insufficient training, poor communication, or exclusion are key factors that change implementors determine as part of the change readiness exercise.
Change managers can also assess how the organisation has implemented a change in the past and its capacity to handle the restructuring process through change readiness activities. This allows the implementors to understand employees’ readiness for change, past triumphs and pain points, and pivot appropriately to achieve success.
Understand the impact of the re-organisation
Understanding the impact of change during an organisational restructure allows implementors to engage purposefully. An impact assessment will identify the employees, tools, processes, policies, culture, skills, and behaviours, that will impact the organisational restructure.
Change implementors often perform change impact assessments at an organisational level, internally and externally, at a team level, and at an individual level to determine the effect of organisational restructure on each impacted group. This allows them to craft interventions that amplify positive change impact and successful transformation.
Determine the right governance structure
In addition to these evaluations, change implementors should develop a governance structure and a change blueprint that guides the transformation during and post-implementation.
The structure of governance has clear change management roles with clarity on leadership and operational teams for efficient coordination of the project. It also defines the decision-making rights and processes for the organisational restructure. This is especially crucial to the leadership teams that are often tasked with managing the organisational change and the business operations simultaneously. Having a structure that defines their role in the change project will assist in managing expectations and alignment to the strategic intent of the project.
Roles in the governance team play a critical role in clarifying the big picture and desired goals that the organisation wants to achieve. This clarity is important to enable alignment across the organisation and to enable People Managers to socialise the vision with their teams and clarify how the change will impact their day-to-day work.
Also Read: Organisational Change- A Current Necessity
Identifying change risks
Any organisational restructure comes with risks that may inhibit the acceptance or adoption of the change. These risks are in different forms including overall readiness, resistance, resources to manage the change, the risk of the change, sponsorship, and culture inter alia. These risks may impede the implementation process. Identifying them early and mitigating them is essential to managing the change to avoid delays and costs associated with poorly managed change.
Develop a change blueprint
A change management blueprint is a guide that allows implementors to design, track and review the process of change and mitigate the risks identified. The blueprint should cover all the phases of the change including the preparation and planning phases, the implementation, and the activities required to sustain the change.
The change blueprint identifies the tactics and activities needed to enable impacted groups to transition effectively through the change to the desired future. The change blueprint serves as the main document that provides the structure and intent for the change.
Changing an organisation’s structure is a delicate process that requires thoughtful and detailed planning at the onset to ensure the implementation is managed effectively and that risks associated with people and the change itself are mitigated to ensure an effective transition.
Written By Nyawera Kibuka
Cedar Africa Group is Prosci’s primary partner in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, and Rwanda