Risks Of Organisational Change

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Businesses must navigate an ever-changing economic landscape. In order to do so successfully, they must be capable of adapting. On occasion, this might necessitate a reorganisation. 

Organisational change is something that’s often worthwhile, but which confers a number of risks. Let’s assess some of the more common, and how they might be managed. 

Resistance To Change 

Your stakeholders, both internal and external, may not agree with the changes you’re seeking to implement. This is, in principle, a good thing. They may be able to offer a perspective that you hadn’t considered, and give you reason to reassess your approach. To persuade them, you’ll need to first listen to your concerns and determine whether they’re worthwhile. 

Often, a little bit of readjustment can be enough to placate workers who fear that they might lose their job, or have their job change beyond recognition. A little bit of frankness might also pay off in the long run: if you believe that change is necessary to secure the long-term prosperity of the business, and therefore sustain the jobs that it supports, then it’s worth saying so. 

Operational Disruption 

When you’re making the transition from one organisational structure to another, there will be a period during which your ability to operate will be impeded. If you decide to install a new computer system, then you might find that you’re unable to function during the downtime. This is a problem that can be planned for and mitigated. Consider the pace of implementation, and the timing. 

Leadership 

The success or failure of your organisational change will largely depend on the competence with which it is managed. The departments being reorganised should be led by competent people who’ve either gotten experience in transitions of this sort, or who have been provided with training and preparation on what those demands will be. Inevitably, problems will arise over the course of the transition, and it’s the job of management to smooth over those bumps and ensure that things can keep moving. 

If your existing leaders aren’t up to the task, then it might be worth bringing in expertise from outside. Interim professionals with experience in HR contract jobs will be able to act as consultants, coming into the business for a short period and allowing you to minimise disruption. When the reorganisation period is over, you can look elsewhere, to a more permanent (and affordable) alternative. 

Managing The Risk 

Now that we have an idea of the shape of the problems, we can think about how to solve them. All of the solutions have a common denominator, and that’s forward planning. If you don’t anticipate the challenges that the process will throw up, then you’ll inevitably be blindsided. For this reason, it’s worth proceeding on a thorough, formal risk assessment, which can be used as reference when you come to reflect on the process afterwards.