When engaging in organizational turnaround it’s important to first understand the expected output of the organization. Then work backward through the steps required to create the output. Finally, the inputs that are the raw material (whether that is information, component parts, or tools) the organization will process to create the desired output can be defined.
Only then can the current processes be evaluated to determine if they are designed to generate the output with the given inputs. And only then can the organization be assessed for whether it is structured correctly, and the required skillsets are employed to perform the tasks that are a part of the processes.
Both assessing the processes and the organization are necessary steps in ensuring the organization can achieve the desired results. It’s clear that the current conditions are not satisfactory, or a turnaround wouldn’t be required. It makes no sense to jump into a reorganization prior to understanding the optimal roles and processes are required to generate the desired outcome.
A byproduct of this analysis will be a lean sequence of processes and a lean organization. Over time processes are changed or added as the ‘good idea of the day’ or as a layered activity to mask an issue. Also, customer expectations change over time and processes or organizations that were designed to achieve a particular result might now be obsolete or require adjustment to get the job done. By considering the logically sequenced steps required to achieve the result, gaps and redundancies are automatically revealed.
It’s also important to remember that, while consensus is nice, it has to be a low priority in your turnaround efforts. Leaders that seek peace instead of results end up hiring consultants to turn their businesses around in the future. You aren’t looking for peace first and then assessing how close you can to the right inputs, processes and organization. You’re looking for results. There will be organizational inertia. Expect it. Then plow through it.
So, rather than immediately reorganizing or firing everybody, the necessary steps to get the results you are looking for are:
- Understand the desired output of the organization
- Work backward through the steps necessary to create the output
- Define the input required as raw material
- Evaluate processes to eliminate gaps and redundancies
- Evaluate the organization for having the right skillsets and structure
Those steps will point you in the direction your turnaround must go to get the desired results.