Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Reorganizational Chaos

So one of the most chaotic and disruptive thing any company can do is a reorganization.  I am always surprised by the fact that companies do not understand this.

In my experience and those I know, reorganizations tend to happen in one of two ways.  In the first version, the reorganization is lightning quick.  Everyone shows up and suddenly you are reporting to someone else.  Maybe you know who it is.  Maybe you do not.  And in some cases, the person to whom you are now reporting may know precisely nothing about what it is you actually do.

In the other version, the reorganization is pretty much an open secret.  Everyone knows it is coming, yet for some reason it is delayed  or held back, sometimes for days or weeks.  Not everyone may know where they are going and so a certain concern permeates the air as individuals wait, knowing that something is coming but not know what it will be.

In either of these versions, the results are the same:  Chaos.  Concern.  Often there is no clear reason for why the reorganization is occurring - in some extreme cases, it is announced but the full details of it are not so people know that something is changing even as they have no idea what it is.

People like communication.  They like to understand.  They like to know what is coming - maybe they cannot change it, but at least they can prepare for it.  And people certainly do not like the instability or lack of concern that is demonstrated when these sorts of things occur.  They begin to worry -first about the company's stability, and then most certainly about their own futures.

Why is it then that companies never seem to understand this?

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