Question: Is transition in leadership team right time to reorganize?

Our management team has lost some veterans and added new members (lots of industry experience), in their place.

It was a transition planned long in advance, as a part of which, we created an extensive "HR balance sheet" which clearly shows a need for realignment in org structure.

The question is whether this is the right moment for us to reorganize (primarily to consolidate a 1 year old acquisition, and become more customer facing.)

Or do we keep our current structure, till the new executives have fully settled, in say 6 to 9 months?

7 Expert Insights

I think you should discuss this with the management team. They have to endorse it, or it will not work.

Not only do I see this as the right moment ...  I see this as a very wise move.  It's a great opportunity to assemble the new team around the realities of the business today and going forward.  You create an opportunity to involve your new leadership team (regardless of them being the newest of some carry-overs) in designing and aligning around the vision and related goals of where you want to go as an organization 'tomorrow'.  It also achieves all members of the team coming to know each other as well as understand and appreciate what each individual brings to the organization.

In a sense you are well-off to look at the organization as a new one or a merged one in the case of leadership.  In the course of just 2 days of bringing the team together, you will accomplish creating a foundation on which you can go forward with great confidence.  I have see and been a part of this occurrence on many occasions and the rewards are significant.

You are not asking the right question. The question implies a dichotomy - when, in fact, there is another option. The dichotomy posits the problem as being one of time, when the problem is actually one of organizational capability. Ultimately, the objective of the efforts undertaken to date should be a non-objective. Not a specific goal (we have re-organized), but a specific set of competencies tied to corporate evolution and ecological fit - the ability of the company to adapt.

This capability, this capacity for evolution, can only occur through a massive non-linear and non-goal based restructuring of internal corporate communication. That is the place to start.

Change is always most palatable when it is seen happening at some time in the future. Deferring a needed change is often tempting: "We have got to do this, it's clear, but let's wait until XYZ is finished". Guess what! After XYX is finished, or likely some time before it's finished, ABC happens. "Well, we can't do it now. We have to wrap up ABC." Since you have done an analysis that clearly shows a need for realignment in org structure, and assuming the management team is in agreement with that conclusion, it would seem prudent to address that need sooner rather than later.

The fact that there has been some turnover in your management team should be an advantage to tackling your org structure now. People typically expect some changes to accompany new leadership. New leaders arrive without legacy issues that might otherwise have resulted in turf battles. Your new management team members will have an opportunity to jump right in to the dialogue re optimizing organizational alignment, which seems like a great way to get them on board, engaged, and up to speed.

So let me get this are in the middle of a transition in a reorg and yet you want to have the newbies go into the old system, and then in 6-9 months drop all that, and then transition into a new system?

Iva's comment is an ideal one, as well as the notion of "What's the value of having some chaos now in a one-off rather than having some chaos now, and then in 6-9 months throw the org into chaos again?"

I actually think you already know the answer and were looking for a place to vet it. My short answer is ....'Now of course, while everything is already stirred up, and you can use the new personnel to institute the initiatives that they are going to be living with.

When you bring a new hire, the first 3-6 months are critical for establishing leadership credibility.

1. Conducting Assessment: their team, culture, market conditions
2. Setting Strategy: Understanding the company's vision and aligning their strategy with that of the organization
3. Alignment: Allocating resources and aligning talent to strategic priorities

You tell us that this change has been strategic and in motion for a while now. If that's the case, you have and are working from an organizational design blueprint, do you not? That organizational design should guide you how you can make the change to take advantage of the new people coming in and you positioning them to reflect the future of your organization.  

I would argue this is the best time to reorg.  You have several new executives in place who have a fresh perspective on the organization.  People are expecting change so use the opportunities these transitions are giving you.

If you haven't already, ask the new executives for their perspective on the organization structure.  Even if they've only been in place a short time, they will have opinions on where it needs to be. Then, share the HR balance sheet with them.  New executives with deep industry experience are usually hired to bring that knowledge to bear on the organization, so they need to be actively involved in how the realignment happens.  They need to help define what it is an how it happens or you will face significant resistance.