The handoff from the organization design architects to the leaders is often riddled with challenges. Project teams are anxious to complete the project and leaders who are keen to get the implementation completed often skim over critical steps so they can get back to their “real” jobs. Leaders can encounter significant resistance when titles, reporting structures, roles, and accountabilities change. However, few address the people aspects of the change. Without appropriate direction, communications, feedback and consequence systems, the design can flounder. People can quickly create workarounds that compromise the design, curtailing the intended success measures.
Organizations interested in minimizing disruption and maximizing results go beyond the traditional announcement and implementation plans. They ensure the organization design is aligned with the strategy, processes, and desired culture. Savvy organizations prepare senior management and engage key influencers. Successful organizations help employees understand the change and address personal reactions through consistent and timely communications. These organizations go beyond role definition and identify the new behaviors and consequence systems that make the design work efficiently.
When organizations take into account four key areas to implementing organization design; even the trickiest organizational designs can be successfully implemented.
Roadmap – map out the direction to include what needs to be accomplished and how it will be done
Lead – Enlist and enroll leaders to lead the implementation changes and the new way.
Communicate – Craft clear, compelling messages geared to the stakeholder. Communicate early and often and don’t be afraid to be redundant and “boring” as it may take people several times before they message is heard and socialized. What is boring and obvious to the leader may be new to the individual deep in the organization.
Engage – Strategies and organizational designs are only as good as the people utilizing the designs. Assist leaders in engaging key stakeholders through removing any obstacles for peak performance. Build in new positive consequence systems to reinforce the new way.
The key is to create an implementation strategy that captures both what you need to get done with how you want leaders and associates to work in the new way.