Deciding What Your Business Needs - To Redesign or Not?
6th July 2021

Deciding What Your Business Needs

6 Minute Read

Takeaway: In order to adapt to changing times, businesses have had to make enormous shifts in their business operations. Because of this, it’s vital that CEOs look at their operating model to decide whether or not a redesign is needed!

Strategy is Shifting

In recent months, businesses have undergone massive changes in order to adapt to changing times. According to a recent Predictive Index survey, a whopping 96% of CEOs surveyed said they changed strategic direction due to the pandemic, with 50% indicating their strategy shifted to a “great” extent. Yet not all of these massive changes have been optimal, nor even adequate.  

Since March 2020, sixty-nine percent of those CEOs surveyed said they restructured their organizations and their company suffered layoffs or furloughs.  Of the organizations that restructured, 28% let go at least one-fourth of the company. Restructuring is often deemed necessary (especially if it is a “stop gap” or survive decision), yet it is not sufficient, especially if your business and strategy are changing.  If that is the case, the work and roles must change too. Otherwise, you may just be shuffling things around. 

Beyond Restructuring

Pandemic aside, many organizations use restructuring to accomplish better business results or to identify efficiencies, which are often short-term moves.  What is often needed though, is redesign or reimagining how the business should operate given the changing environment and future capability needed. In simple terms, restructuring is like switching the chairs around at the kitchen table, yet you still have the same old type of dining experience, just with different people. 

Redesigning on the other hand, would be like deciding the kitchen table was not even necessary and reimagining how to prepare and serve dinner. Ever hear of the TV dinner, or more prevalent, Door Dash and Uber Eats? These disruptions have created transformational changes that require redesign thinking and skillsets. What changes in your organization might be requiring a true redesign? 

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Organization Design Expertise

Because the need for organization design expertise is greater than ever, businesses are not just restructuring, but reimagining what their business and operating models need to look like going forward. Having this capability or knowing how to build it, is necessary! 

Build or Buy Considerations

  1. Understand what organization design really is (i.e. organization redesign vs. restructuring) and how much of this capability is needed in your organization. 
  2. Be honest with yourself and realize that just because you have helped several leaders in the past with restructuring, does not mean that you have organization design expertise. 
  3. Consider your “build vs. buy” options, with clear expectations and perspective on the investment and commitment required to obtain this expertise or support. 
  4. If building, consider partnering with an organization who offers a 70-20-10 approach to development, ensuring a balance of learning opportunities similar to this: 
  • 70% from job-related experiences 
  • 20% from interaction with others/coaching 
  • 10% from formal education events 

For more information on whether to buy or build an organization design capability, check out this OTM blog on the “Build or Buy Solution.” 

After careful consideration of what your business needs, consider adding external professional development to your list. Sign up for our free skill building webinar on July 27th here. 

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Mark Robinson was a Senior Consultant at ON THE MARK.

OTM has been in business since 1987 and is a leading organization design firm. Over our 33 years in business, OTM has completed close to 450 redesigns around the globe across most industries. Our experience and passion for collaborative business transformation is supported by pragmatism, systems thinking, and a belief in people that’s unparalleled.

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