You've just been appointed as new had of department and want to implement a new organization structure?

Here are some recommendations and best practices.
Yes!!! Yes!!! Yes!!! You have been appointed as new head of a department or division and have to reorganize it in order to execute your strategy. It's amazing feeling and you are probably full of dopamine.

However, after the initial enthusiasm comes a sobering effect**

This task can seem overwhelming and confusing at times. It can be difficult to know where to start and how to go about implementing a new structure. I have been confronted to this challenge several times in my previous career, and here are my 6 most important recommendations.

1. Do your research

Before you start making any changes, it is important to do your research. Look at what other successful organisations are doing and see if there are any best practices that you can learn from. You should also consult with experts in the field to get their input on what would work best for your organisation.

2. Understand the dynamics within your units and teams

Change can be difficult for people, and employees may resist a new organisational structure, even if it is for the better. They may be used to the old way of doing things and reluctant to adapt to something new. Understanding the current dynamics, i.e. the positive and negative forces regarding change, as well as the concrete concerns of as many individuals as possible, will help you to identify the right levers to overcome resistance.

3. Be clear about your goals

Before you start making any changes, you need to be clear about your goals. What are you hoping to achieve with the new organisational structure (this is your job as leader)? Once you have a good understanding of your goals, you can start to plan out what changes need to be made.

4. Don’t underestimate the importance of internal communication

With any change, communication is key. Employees need to be made aware of the new organisational structure and what it entails. They need to know how it will affect them and their work. Internal communication must be clear, empathic and authentic to avoid confusion and resistance to change.

5. Be prepared to make adjustments

No matter how well you plan, there will always be some bumps in the road when implementing a new organisational structure. Be prepared to make adjustments along the way. Don’t be afraid to trial new things and see what works best for your organisation. But again**

if you do so, communication is key!

6. Have patience

Implementing a new organisational structure can be a long and difficult process. It is important to have patience and not expect everything to happen overnight. Give yourself and your team time to adjust to the new structure and make the necessary changes (while staying consistent).

There is obviously a lot more to say, but the 6 points above seem to me the most important ones.

Do you want to know more about this passionating subject or discuss a concrete issue you are facing? Contact us, we'd love to hear from you!
Christophe Berger
Christophe is founder and CEO of AGILIS. He has a long managerial experience in a multinational context and has been faced multiple times with the challenge of merging departments, integrating acquired entities, turning around loss-making units and executing strategies in complex environments.