Reorganization becoming the norm

Posted · Add Comment

25 April 2019

There is bad news for those who don’t like any changes in their job, their team members and their company. The chances are, your company is already planning for a reorganization.

The reasons for a reorganization these days go beyond the issues of cost reduction or integrating a new business. More businesses are changing their “business model”, “embracing digital”, “capitalizing on scale” perhaps simply to stay relevant in the market, perhaps to justify management positions. Either they see more entrants in the market if the industry is yet to saturate, or, like many in my community in the Logistics industry, most expect to see more consolidations or they fear being completely replaced by new digital-savvy players who are tipping the scale to knock out traditional players. In response, reorganization seems logical, it can speed up the response to unforeseen market changes ahead, or allow for growth…

Some companies believe that to keep a “success mindset” they need to be constantly in the midst of change; People, Place, Product, Price, Market Position change.  These changes are often followed by or complement a new strategy to relocate of certain functions to shared services centers to intensify strategic values or strategic locations, etc.

Most likely, all employees have been or will be impacted by some reorganization experience. This creates a certain tension in the air, and it can be extremely stressful to see your favorite colleagues leaving, or a former leading division shut. The worst part is these changes could begin to have you doubt your value and your position. Reorganizations are certainly not all bad, it is possible to emerge from reorganization with a whole new opportunity or a similar but different job, but it requires you to stay calm amid chaos, networking and prospecting for hidden opportunities.

The key is to be listening and preparing constantly. This means you can take advantage of not only internal but external opportunities.  All employees should ask direct questions of their managers rather than relying on the rumor mill. Listening to “alternative facts” is one thing, but treating them as facts is another! That snowball effect could be detrimental if enough people take it seriously.

Another way of using change forces to your advantage is that some reorganization create rare opportunities. Why not get involved by volunteering for a planning or project team.  There will always be a new perspective gained, a skill honed, and often, battlefield promotions will emerge. Employees who help lead the changes may be the most visible candidates. This is how some people get quantum-leap promotions, from front-line employee to vice president in a couple of years. Another option is to “promote” yourself with decision makers and make sure they know your unique value proposition within the company. Why not explore opportunities across the company by offering to be part of cross functional teams between departments, cities and countries.

Meanwhile, it surely does not hurt to keep your CV up to date and maintaining an active network of contacts outside of work which can lend more self-confidence during any exasperating reorganization. Knowing that you have options, that you can always leave, is a huge confidence boost and keeping your head level during changes like these. Maybe spending time with people who encourage you and provide realistic feedback could spark some creative thinking in terms of “what next”.

I hope that any upcoming reorganization offer you the chance to really shine and won’t slow you down from reaching your career goals.  In the meantime, it will not hurt to have a plan B/C/D or even an exit strategy should your role becomes redundant. Who knows, a reorganization could be the perfect excuse for you to find that opportunity which you may not know exist today.

As quoted by Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher, “change is the only constant in life”. So today’s norm could be extinct before we know it, and like most things in life, it could be really helpful to keep an open mind and a growth mindset. One can never know!