Setting Your Organization Up for the Future
In 2020, Americans submitted an estimated 4.35 million new business applications. The figure represented a 74 percent increase compared to 2010. From these statistics, it’s clear that owning a business is quickly becoming the American dream.
Unfortunately, only a handful of these businesses will go on to succeed. Research shows that up to 90 percent of all new businesses fail. So, how can you make sure that your organization is among the 10 percent that thrives?
One way is to set your company up for the future from the very start. In today’s digital age, change happens rapidly, and you need to prepare your business to adapt to changes if you’re to remain afloat and profitable.
So, where do you start? This guide highlights five practical things you can do to make your company future-proof.
Read on to learn more.
Have a Long-Term Vision
With technology quickly defining the way businesses conduct their operations, many executives are scrambling to become digital by investing in this technology.
But top business leaders don’t wait to react to pressure. Instead, these leaders develop a long-term vision from the very start. Their organization’s unique mission and intentionality drive this vision.
Once the vision is clear, it becomes easier to determine what your organization’s structure needs to look like to support that vision.
It’s not uncommon to find an organization focusing on its current problems and looking for quick fixes. But while hastily patching up things may have helped in the past, it won’t help you survive in today’s fast-moving economic world. You don’t want to merely keep your business from going under; you want to compete.
Certainly, your business can benefit from incremental improvements. But you may find that you often get caught up in issues in different departments that force you to look for immediate solutions. The best approach is to implement an organization redesign that’s driven by strategy, intentionality, and mission, all of which are tied to a long-term vision of your company’s future.
Clearly Understand Your Current State
As soon as you’ve appreciated the need for an organizational restructure and have a long-term vision in place, it’s time to assess your current state. The organization’s board of directors needs to do this objectively.
Take the time to understand your actual organizational culture. That means the social structures and flow of information in your company. Realize that, in most cases, the actual organizational culture differs from the company’s logical hierarchy and formal lines of communication, which is what you have on paper.
Many leaders assume that things in the company are functioning according to their organizational chart. The problem with making such an assumption is that you could be overlooking the additional communication lines that may support collaboration and innovation.
Take the time to evaluate your assumptions, fact-checking each of them. Carefully examine talent capabilities, weaknesses, and current incentives. Which relationships should you be building upon?
Your goal should be to leverage your real organizational structure and try to make it as close to the ideal as possible.
This is also the time to evaluate whether your current systems and applications are serving you well. You may want to start planning for a renewal of the applications whose subscription is about to expire.
Allocate Sufficient Resources
Reorganization requires resources. Simply reengineering your organization’s DNA in principle isn’t enough. You need to allocate enough human and monetary resources to support strategic change.
Your company’s leadership needs to do a comprehensive assessment of the overall financial cost and tax implications of the reorganization project. Look at your financials and determine whether you have enough funding for each stage of your project. Having adequate resources helps mitigate any risks.
As the world continues to embrace artificial intelligence and technology, organizations tend to forget that they’re a community of human beings. Your workers are people with emotions, beliefs, hopes, and fears.
Once you begin restructuring your company to prepare it for the future, you’re creating uncertainty among your employees. That’s unless you communicate clearly to them what exactly is happening.
Your employees aren’t just pieces you can move around as you restructure. Take the time to address their needs, including anxiety, fear, and defensiveness.
As long as employees have insight into the wider context of the ongoing changes, they won’t treat it as a threat. Instead, they’ll see the restructuring as an opportunity for growth and work with you to add efficiency to the entire process.
Begin With a Pilot Project
Before you roll out a fully-fledged restructuring project, it’s smart to first test it with a much smaller, carefully selected, and highly targeted pilot project.
You could use one unit that’s independently operated as your test environment. A pilot project allows you to experiment purposely and work out any kinks in the project.
Choose a high-potential section of your organization in which to experiment. If you get good results from the experiment, you can then go on to scale the plan.
Understand the value of a well-planned and executed pilot project. It helps you understand what in your restructuring project works and what doesn’t. This way, you can fine-tune everything before fully implementing your strategic changes.
Get Your Organization Ready for the Future
Guiding an organization to success in today’s digital age can seem like a huge challenge. With so many changes happening, it’s hard to predict what the future holds for businesses. But by deliberately committing to strategic restructuring that’s guided by a long-term vision for your business, you can effectively set your company for the future.
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