How Managers Deal With Reorganizations

Change happens, will you be ready to deal with it?
Change happens, will you be ready to deal with it?
Image Credit: bark

As though the job of being a manager was not tough enough, it turns out that there is something that can make it just a bit more challenging: change. You know what I’m talking about here. Every so often your company gets the good idea that they could become more effective if they reorganized. Arggg! This is exactly the kind of thing that can throw even the best laid plans up into the air no matter what manager skills you have. Keep in mind that none of us have any manager training on how to deal with situations like this. What is a manager to do when a reorganization happens?

The Challenge Presented By Reorganizations

So what’s up with all of the reorganizations that are going on? It turns out that more and more companies are performing reorganizations. The reason for all of these changes has to do with an attempt to respond to market changes or to help the company grow faster. A study has shown that 80% of companies believe that the rate of reorganizations will continue at an equal or faster rate over the next 5 years.

As though getting reorganized was not enough of a hassle, it turns out that things could be even worse. At some firms, reorganizations occur every 18 to 24 months. This tends to result in what is called “reorg fatigue” among team members. As you can well imagine, these are not good firms to be working for. Everyone feels as though there is an atmosphere of uncertainty and constant disruption.

The good news here is that it’s not all doom and gloom. Instead, managers need to understand that it is possible to emerge out the other side of a reorganization with a job that is better than the one that you currently have. However, if you want this to happen it is going to require a few things on your part. Specifically, while the reorg is happening, you are going to have to stay calm even as everything around you changes. You are also going to have to spend your time networking and prospecting for hidden opportunities.

How To Deal With A Reorganization

Managers need to realize that reorgs can spark job-loss fears among the members of their team. This will always happen no matter what reasons the company has given for performing the reorg. At many companies, a reorg does not happen overnight. Instead, there is a good chance that the reorg may drag on for far too long. Studies have shown that only 12% of companies are able to reach the goal of their reorg by the stated deadline.

So what should a manager do when a reorg is happening? One of the most important things that you can do is to ask a lot of questions. You’ll want to ask your questions of your management instead of hoping that you’ll hear about what is going on from the people that you work with or from your own team. While the reorg is happening, you are also going to want to stay alert for new job opportunities. If your company is not in the habit of posting their openings, then you’ll want to be asking your management about areas that you have interest in.

Managers need to realize that a reorg can create a unique career opportunity for them. One way to take advantage of such an opportunity is by volunteering for a project or planning team. By doing this, you may line yourself up for a so-called “battlefield promotion”. The thinking is that the managers who are helping to lead the change caused by the reorg are the most visible candidates when it comes time to fill key positions. This is a great way to quickly move up the corporate ladder in just a few years.

What All Of This Means For You

As difficult as it is to be a manager, it turns out that when your company decides to do a reorganization your job just got a whole lot more difficult. Everything that you had lined up, the projects that you had underway, and the team building that you were planning now come to a halt while the company decides where everyone should be shuffled to. At the same time, you may not be working at the same job tomorrow.

The number of companies that are performing reorganizations is increasing. The reorgs are being performed in order to respond to market changes or to help the company grow faster. At some companies reorgs are done over and over again every 18 to 24 months. An upside for managers is that there is the possibility that after a reorg you may emerge with a better job than the one that you have now if you know how to spend your time wisely. Reorgs can cause people to fear that they will lose their jobs and reorgs tend to go on for far too long. While a reorg is happening, managers need to take the time to ask questions to their management about what is going on. They need to keep their eyes open for new positions and ask about areas that they have an interest in. Reorgs can create new career opportunities for managers who volunteer to lead the change efforts.

If managers ran the world, then there would not be reorganizations. They are disruptive and I think that we all look at them as not always delivering what they were promised to provide. However, the companies that we work for seem to like to do them and so we really don’t have that much of a choice in the matter. When a reorg happens, managers need to keep their eyes open and take the appropriate steps to ensure that their career will still be on track once the reorg has been completed.

– Dr. Jim Anderson Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World IT Management Skills™

Question For You: What do you think that a manager should NOT do while a reorg is going on?

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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

We all know who Google is, right? Well it turns out that they like data and they like processing data. What this means for managers is that Google spends their time collecting data about how managers are using their manager skills to manage their teams and then they process that data. They used to think that the smartest people made the best managers, turns out that they were wrong – they needed to get some manager training. It’s the people who do the best job of working with people. Google’s been collecting data for quite some time and they have recently gone back and taken a look at their data. Four new characteristics of a good manager have shown up.