Four Tips for Minimizing Cultural Disruption During Your Next Reorganization


It seems that reorganizations are occurring everywhere we turn these days – and they can be tricky to navigate, even under the best of circumstances.  

When handled poorly, reorganizations can waste time as people churn while they adjust to the changes. Credibility, trust, and engagement can dip. And there are real risks that your reorganization doesn’t achieve its objectives; or you lose key talent or valued customers along the way.   

But when handled well, restructurings can bring fresh energy, untapped ideas, and a renewed sense of commitment – leading to faster ROIs. They can also build employee trust, making your next change feel less “scary” as employees recognize their ability to get through it.  

The secret for leaders is to plan ahead, with a splash of curiosity and flexibility. 

Four tips to minimize disruption with your next reorganization: 

  1. Plan ahead.
    Get clear about the who, what, where, when, and why behind the reorganization. A thorough impact assessment can guide your planning so you aren’t caught by downstream delays, snarls, or unexpected surprises. Make sure to plan for both the process and the people parts of the reorganization – create intentional space for human reactions but also address ways of working. Identify the opportunities in the change and the risks that need to be managed.
  2. Align and empower your leaders.
    Leaders play a pivotal role in building bridges between the goals of a reorganization and an employee’s day-to-day experience. Equipping your leaders – at all levels – with the right tools allows them to navigate the reorganization and serve as an anchor for employees. Include them as much as possible in the impact assessment and planning stages so they can provide subject matter expert knowledge and help create a sense of ownership and calm.
  3. Proactively engage and listen.
    Engage the organization in some appropriate way. Having a comprehensive communications plan will help ensure you bring employees on the journey with you. Leverage opportunities to get their feedback and to have them co-create where they can along the process. Employees want to contribute to the overall success!
  4. Be flexible.
    Reorganizations are often planned behind closed doors and, for many understandable reasons, kept hush-hush. As plans move off the page and begin to take on a life of their own, they tend to turn into something new. Remember that, even with the best of intentions, a foolproof plan and strong communications, stuff can happen outside of your control. Be adaptable to new situations and discoveries. Maintain your “human” voice and authenticity during these times. Be candid, honest and transparent.

Each reorganization or other major change is an opportunity to build the change muscle of your leaders, HR team, and the business overall.  The stronger your team gets at navigating changes, the less disruptive new changes will be and the more it will become the status quo way of working.  

If it’s your turn for a reorganization, feel confident!  You’ve got this! And if you need a hand, or just a conversation to help you get started, we’re here for you. You can find us at 

Categories: Change, Culture