Business restructuring can be an essential and necessary process to help your business evolve in response to changing circumstances. However, it is often a challenging and uncertain time because it requires people to change habits and ways of working.
The decision to undergo any restructuring activity should not be taken lightly, nor is it a process that happens overnight. Before contemplating restructuring any aspect of your business or Team, there are some key considerations.
In many ways, business restructures are equivalent to buying a house and renovating it. Let me explain.
When we buy a family house, we all have different views of what the ‘house’ needs to look like and what features it needs to have before we commit to the purchase. When we sit down with each family member and talk through the details of the house, it turns out we all have different views and visions. One thinks it needs to have three bedrooms and three bathrooms, another believes it needs two bedrooms and a study, whilst another wants sparkly lights and believes it can all run on solar energy.
Similarly, in organisations, leaders have different ideas how various components of the organisation should be designed, set-up and managed and often they assume everyone shares the same view.
A few years on, the family want to rejuvenate and update the house. Someone arranges for the new bathroom to be positioned on the left side, but the plumbing is on the right side. The previous, versatile hue of paint simply won’t do and now needs to be replaced with another contemporary shade.
Just like buying and refurbishing a house, before any money is paid and any renovations commence, you want to be clear about WHY you want things to change and improve, understand WHAT your options are, HOW you know these options will work and WHO will be impacted or affected by any changes.
Successful restructures do not have to be overly complex, but they must be aligned with the purpose of the business, invigorate employees to embrace the change and ultimately make it easier to attract and retain customers.
Before contemplating a restructure of your business or Team, consider the following:
- Why do you believe that a restructure is necessary?
- What is broken or needs fixing?
- Where is the evidence that it is not working or is broken?
- What are the options and alternatives to restructuring?
- How do you know these options will work?
- How will Customers be affected by the restructure?
- How will your Employees and Team be affected?
- How will other Stakeholders be impacted (key suppliers, shareholders, members of the public, etc)
When done right, a restructure can help unlock the potential of your people and ensure the business is fit for greater growth. But the decision to undertake any restructuring activity should not be taken lightly and certainly not before you are clear about the WHY, WHAT AND HOW.