Restructuring is not necessarily a fundamental overhaul of structure and processes. It can be a series of co-ordinated initiatives to improve the business’s performance.
Carefully planned and skilfully executed, these can have as profound an effect on results as a major re-engineering programme.
Restructuring is not just about redesign. This view underemphasises the importance of establishing a managerial team – albeit a temporary one – with the motivation, clear thinking and willpower to fire radical change and drive it through. Victorious executives in take-overs often imagine that their team of stars is acquiring a set of duffers. But this is seldom the case. The most successful restructuring melds the best managers into a stronger team than either part had. The creation of this team – with a top executive handpicked for the job – can be one of the keys to success in complex restructuring.
It helps to have good managers who can force the pace and get things done. But perhaps most important is to have a clear picture of why you are doing it in the first place – what’s wrong now, where you would like the business to go, and what it should look like when it gets there. If all of this can be represented numerically, so much the better.
Some senior managers find it difficult to resist the temptation to restructure on taking up a new appointment, or perhaps they just become bored or want to enhance their reputation. This should be avoided. There must always be a clear rationale for action with a well-argued business case, otherwise the results are likely to be disappointing.
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