Thought Leadership Essays

Reorg with Purpose and Insight – Step Out of Dilbert

February 29, 2012

Vikas Narula

If you have worked in a decent sized organization for any period of time, there’s a good chance you have been part of a “reorganization”. Sometimes it is unclear why the reorganization is happening. Not only does the change come with uneasiness, due to poor communication and messaging, frequently the details of who gets moved where do not make sense. Depending on where you sit in the hierarchy, your input was probably not solicited.

These experiences give ammunition to comic writers and cartoonists alike. You do not need to go far or read sophisticated business journals to understand why reorgs often do more harm than good. Are they really happening with purpose or are they just a plot to cover up bad decisions?

Not only are the motivations of reorgs suspect, they seldom take into account the informal tapestry that exists in the organization.  If you are going to do a reorg, wouldn’t you want to fully understand the talent and influence dynamic first? Wouldn’t it help inform who goes where?

Fortunately, more companies are bucking the status quo.  Rather than rely on the opinions of a few executive leaders, some organizations are capitalizing on the wisdom of crowds to help make reorgs meaningful, engaging and effective.

How does your company fare when it comes to reorgs?  Do they do it with purpose and insight or is it more of a Dilbert exercise?

Vikas Narula (@NarulaTweets) is Creator and Co-Founder of Keyhubs (@Keyhubs) – a software and services company specializing in workplace social analytics. He is also Founder of Neighborhood Forest – a social venture dedicated to giving free trees to kids every Earth Day.

Comments

  1. Laura Delavie |
    9 Years Ago

    There is so much wisdom within employees. Understanding the nuances and hidden connections as well as strengths within the organization before reorganizing is highly important.

    • Vikas Narula |
      9 Years Ago

      I agree Laura! Thank you.

  2. Patty Tanji |
    9 Years Ago

    Vikas,
    Spot on! I think the heart of the reorg follies is simply an unwillingness to value individual contribution….too much hierarchy and too little time to tap into the wealth of knowledge in the company. Just standing at a bus stop I’m amazed at the brilliance around me…imagine if I hand picked everyone standing next to me. Brilliance!

    • Vikas Narula |
      9 Years Ago

      Could not agree more Patty – thank you.

  3. Vonda Vaden Bates |
    9 Years Ago

    This is a brilliant application of the Keyhubs technology. If you haven’t already, I think the LinkedIn hub would help advance this idea. I certainly would re-post from there. Thanks for the suggestions. ~ Vonda

    • Vikas Narula |
      9 Years Ago

      Hi Vv,

      Thanks for the feedback – I appreciate you sharing on LinkedIn and Twitter!

      Best,
      Vikas

  4. Valdis Krebs |
    9 Years Ago

    Ha! Great cartoons and comments about the foolishness of many downsizings!

    Here is a simple network example of what you mentioned…

    http://www.thenetworkthinkers.com/2008/07/single-point-of-failure.html

    Enjoy!

    • Vikas Narula |
      9 Years Ago

      Hi Valdis,

      Thank you for gracing our blog and sharing the link – you are certainly intimately familiar with this issue (and the solution!).

      Thanks again,
      Vikas

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