Is change the only constant?
It sometimes seems that constant change has become the norm in large organisations, with people in a constant state of flux. Reorganisations can seem like a quick way to show progress but they can have a massive cost in terms of the effort involved and the disruption they bring and, if the resulting organisation is short-lived, it seems unlikely to have the time to justify the effort. I know so many people who are either applying for their own jobs, waiting to hear about their job, or trying to work out what their new job is now that everything is reorganised.
Rather than large-scale reorganisations, wouldn’t it be better to have an organisation that recognised the need to change and evolved as and when it needed to?
I believe we need to do three things to improve the situation:
1 – Avoid reorganising.
When faced with a major challenge, you shouldn’t rely on a reorganisation to make a quick impact – if you can see a better alternative. The alternative may not be easy and might involve some bravery in tackling difficult issues but it may well be more effective than a reorganisation.
2 – If you need to reorganise, do it quickly!
Reorganisations are disruptive and it is really difficult for an organisation to change whilst, at the same time, delivering what it is there for. If you need to do it, do it quickly.
3 – Design an organisation that will last.
Recognising that reorganisations are disruptive, you don’t want to do them too often. So how do you design an organisation that will last for a long time without the need to reorganise again? I believe the answer is to design an organisation that is self-aware and responds quickly and appropriately to issues, opportunities, and a changing landscape. Paradoxically, changing constantly (when needed) should avoid the need for constant change.
What do you think? Is this your experience or do you have a different experience?
Please share this with others who may have an interest and please do comment.