Agility, organizational structure, and change management are important topics in today’s transforming business landscape.
Because the digital economy drives so much change so quickly, organizations must adapt in order to stay competitive.
In many cases such organizational changes involve restructuring.
Changes to organizational structure, of course, can be costly and difficult, which is why agility has become such an important trait for modern businesses.
Agility, Organizational Structure, and Change Management – 7 Tips for Successful Transformation
Below, we will look at 7 tips that can help organizations efficiently restructure, implement changes, and stay agile.
1. Understand the benefits of organizational agility
First and foremost it is important to understand what organizational agility is and why it matters … especially in the context of today’s volatile business landscape.
Agility, particularly organizational agility, refers to how flexible an organization is, how readily it can adapt, and how quickly it can change, among other similar characteristics.
In today’s economy, organizational agility is important for several reasons:
- Constant digital disruption is driving continual organizational change and digital transformation
- The ability to change quickly is a survival trait, enabling businesses to keep up with the competition, innovate, thrive, and grow
- Agile organizations can change more cost-effectively and more quickly than organizations that are less agile
For more information, business professionals can research agile, agile thinking, and organizational agility.
2. Institute a permanent change management function within the organization
Organizational change management is the business function devoted to managing change and transformation within a business.
This discipline focuses on:
- Motivating employees and reducing resistance
- Managing the people side of change
- Reinforcing change to ensure that it sticks
- Maximizing project outcomes
Among other things.
Researching change management frameworks is a good place to start for those who are new to this discipline.
3. Reduce resistance and mobilize support
As mentioned, change management focuses on the people side of change.
One of its main aims is reducing employee resistance, and another is mobilizing support.
These are key points for any organization that wants to remain agile and successfully transform their business.
There are several ways to accomplish these aims:
- Communicate the reasons for a change project clearly
- Engage in a two-way dialogue with employees, so they know their voice is being heard
- Reward short-term wins and provide incentives for supportive behavior
- Understand the causes of resistance and design solutions to those problems
- Provide employees with adequate training and support throughout change projects
For more information on reducing employee resistance, read relevant articles on our change management blog.
4. Align restructuring projects with organizational performance goals
Restructuring must have a definite goal or set of goals, which are often designed to support organizational performance goals in some form or another.
For instance, restructuring initiatives can aim to support:
- Digital transformation efforts
- The adoption of new business models
- Projects designed to improve organizational efficiency
As well as other projects aimed at improving organizational performance and effectiveness.
5. Streamline and improve the employee experience
Organizational changes and restructuring efforts can be taxing on employees.
For that reason, it is important to improve the employee experience as much as possible, especially during such important organizational change projects.
As many professionals know, the employee experience has a large impact on employee morale and motivation.
There are several ways to improve that experience during change initiatives:
- Enable total participation from all employees, making sure that their voices are heard
- Communicating clearly about the project, its aims, and employees’ responsibilities
- Offering ample employee training, to ensure that workers stay proficient and productive
Organizations should also consider creating a dedicated employee experience management unit, which is tasked with continually enhancing and optimizing the employee experience.
6. Obtain executive support
Executive support can either make or break a business initiative.
A study by Google, for instance, demonstrated that executive buy-in is a major factor contributing to the success of organizational change projects.
To obtain such support:
- Make a business case for the value of the organizational change project
- Demonstrate why the chosen solution, such as restructuring, is the best approach
- Personalize the proposal by showing how the project can benefit the executive in question
This should be a priority during any organizational change project, especially those as challenging as organizational restructuring programs.
As mentioned above, it is important to ensure that a restructuring program supports the organization’s strategy and performance goals.
And one of the best ways to do that is through digital transformation.
Since digital disruption and innovative technology fuel many of today’s business transformations, digitalization should become a top priority.
Among other things, organizations should:
- Modernize their IT function
- Create an efficient digital workplace
- Develop a digital adoption strategy and a digital transformation strategy
- Ensure that employees are proficient, productive, and engaged
- Create a digital-first corporate culture
Today, all businesses are “digital businesses.”
Like the industrial revolution, the digital revolution is changing the very fabric of the global economy.
To keep up and stay competitive, every business should evolve its business model, digitalize, and restructure when necessary.
Chris is the Lead Author & Editor of Change Blog. Chris established the Change blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Change Management.