It’s often better to admit that things aren’t working as they are, rather than stick out the same practices and hope for a miracle. This is true in many walks of life. But businesses, especially, can encounter huge problems that ask for total restructuring.
At first it may be an issue with teamwork, delegation or accountability. Left to grow, this problem can soon spiral out of control. But if you notice the warning signs and act fast, you can retool your organisation appropriately.
In this way, the original problem doesn’t become something that holds you back – rather, it leads to a welcome next step in your development. That’s why business structure is important: it has the power to shape your future.
Let’s identify four of the clearest signs that you’re due a restructure…
1. Your teams don’t share enough information
Silos are useful for a number of reasons. They can group people together by specialism and department, keep a tight hold on who does what, and foster independence. However, they can also seal workers off from other teams that could use their insight.
Sales and marketing, for instance, can learn a lot from each other. As this article explains, your campaigns will become more effective when the two are aligned – social media posts and website visits lead to more purchases, after all, while good conversations with a sales rep enable people to learn about your brand and its products or services.
This also goes for finance, HR, production or any section of the business that can benefit from knowledge sharing. So, how often do your teams meet? Are communication channels in place? Do you have shared access to Slack, WhatsApp or Asana? If the answer is no, you’ll want to change things. Here’s a video discussing better team performance in more detail.
2. Outcomes aren’t as clear anymore
Markets can shift. Customer tastes, emerging tech and political frameworks are just a few of the factors that may force your business in a fresh direction. But if employees aren’t brought up to speed, they lose their sense of purpose and can end up doing the same function without quite knowing why.
An SHRM/Globoforce survey found that 89% of HR leaders consider ‘ongoing peer feedback’ as the main predicator for successful outcomes. This is even more vital when the market is pushing your business somewhere new.
You may have spotted a decrease in profit, quotas, average response times or customer engagement. After conducting a market analysis to shed light on what needs to change and why, bring your teams on board. Explain how their current role must adapt. Map their skills development to stay in line with recalibrated targets too.
These revisions may even have to extend to your culture. Internal behaviours should reflect the kind of company you’re becoming, and bring everyone together to strive towards the same mission. Read our blog on market-driven culture change Shifting Into A New Market?] for an idea of where to start.
3. There’s significant growth on the horizon
Are you planning a huge growth spurt? Address whether the business is going to help or hinder it in its current state. This often comes down to your hierarchies and shuffling the right people around to cultivate good leadership and more seamless processes.
To ensure you’re ready for growth, weigh up:
- The manpower each team can spare. Assess their current and future workload in relation to the demands you’ll place upon them.
- How many workers you want to hire to keep up with growth – ideally, with pay that reflects their necessity and skills.
- How your business performance measurements will change. Can your new success metrics be qualified and quantified effectively? When are you going to review progress?
- The extent to which more investors and stakeholders will impact your leadership aims, as well as the culture of the business.
Why would a business restructure in the face of expansion? To solidify its emerging ambition and tie it back into what’s made the company great already. Even small growth opportunities offer the chance to shake up a formula that’s worked for you so far.
4. Your technology is outdated
Excellent management and communication – not to mention the production or service-led operations you rely on – can deteriorate without the latest tech. Sticking with one system exclusively for several years is going to put you behind the competition. It may be the reason why you no longer see such a year-on-year rise in output or revenue.
Take the Internet of Things, for example. Over the next decade, it’s likely to lead to $19 trillion in profits and cost savings. Drones, virtual reality, marketing analytics, automation and more are part of the revolutions you may need to get on board with, or risk becoming irrelevant.
First, research the tech that’s changing the landscape. Secondly, restructure the business so everyone knows how their role – and other departments – can react positively to these tools. Consider something like Kotter’s theory of reorganised management, in which short-term wins make for the quicker adoption (and therefore normalisation) of the innovations you’ve introduced.
Then pick a small group of people to manage and measure these new processes. Have them train, observe and answer questions from staff as they adjust.
These are just some of the signs that a business isn’t moving with the times or refining itself. And there are many ways to review what’s working and what could be improved. We recommend the Harrison Assessment model for a total view of your successes, knowledge gaps and pain points. It’s the best way to build the right business system and roll this out to job profiling [LINK > Why Job Profiling Matters] for effective recruitment.
Contact us today to learn more about how to restructure a business. You can reach us by phone on 0161 4646 156 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.