Use Amex as in­spi­ra­tion as you check out jour­ney ahead

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Business & Appointments - - FRONT PAGE -

As the mar­ket changed over time, it too adapted its busi­ness model from sell­ing equip­ment to full pro­fes­sional and man­aged ser­vices. And the busi­ness grew ev­ery year.

Change like this is not easy and blurred lines can of­ten emerge in terms of roles and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties.

Or­gan­i­sa­tional change like this is more ef­fec­tive when it is planned, tak­ing due con­sid­er­a­tion for the im­pact of the change on peo­ple, prod­ucts or ser­vices, route to mar­ket, brand­ing, pro­cesses, costs and prof­itabil­ity. Tri­an­gle took time out re­cently to re-eval­u­ate and look back in at it­self to en­sure it is best struc­tured for its next phase of de­vel­op­ment. STEPS TO TAKE IN RESTRUCTURING

Dis­cov­ery is about tak­ing time to take a fresh ob­jec­tive look at the busi­ness and to bet­ter un­der­stand the busi­ness model, cul­ture, route to mar­ket, the cur­rent struc­ture, re­port­ing lines and job roles. We did this in a num­ber of oneto-one in­ter­views with team mem­bers — to get their views on what is work­ing and where there might be con­fu­sion or over­lap.

In such projects, I reg­u­larly pick up on neg­a­tive vibes and re­sis­tance to change. I found the op­po­site here and was pleased to dis­cover some very strong at­tributes such as cus­tomer-fo­cus, will­ing­ness to change and great pride in the or­gan­i­sa­tion.

Tri­an­gle has a very low turnover of peo­ple.

The an­swer to ‘Which comes first, the chicken or the egg?’ is easy when de­cid­ing on struc­ture. Struc­ture (who does what and who re­ports to who) is only rel­e­vant when the vi­sion and the strat­egy for the busi­ness is carved out. Tak­ing time out with the se­nior man­age­ment team in Tri­an­gle, we started by craft­ing a new ‘North Star’ for the busi­ness. Once that was agreed, we iden­ti­fied the gap be­tween the cur­rent struc­ture (in dis­cov­ery) and the ideal one re­quired to de­liver the new strat­egy.

We shaped an or­gan­i­sa­tion chart that fo­cused not on names but on roles and re­port­ing lines at first. The ap­pro­pri­ate in­di­vid­u­als’ names were then added once the new struc­ture was fi­nalised. It’s es­sen­tial to do it this way rather than be in­flu­enced by per­son­al­i­ties and com­pany his­tory. Just be­cause some­one has had a par­tic­u­lar role for years, should not sug­gest that with a re­freshed North Star, they au­to­mat­i­cally con­tinue in that role. The new vi­sion, strat­egy and struc­ture then needs to come to life. This starts with com­mu­ni­cat­ing it to your peo­ple (and to cus­tomers if that is rel­e­vant). This brings great clar­ity to an or­gan­i­sa­tion as in­di­vid­u­als get com­fort from know­ing who they re­port to and the path for suc­ces­sion. A new struc­ture like this takes time to bed in. Once the or­gan­i­sa­tion struc­ture is de­fined, it’s im­por­tant to re­write the role guides (job de­scrip­tions) for each role. In­di­vid­u­als need to know ex­actly what is ex­pected of them, what com­pe­ten­cies are re­quired to ful­fil the role and what the mea­sures of suc­cess are. THE LAST WORD I have been priv­i­leged to sup­port many or­gan­i­sa­tions over the years to re­fresh their strat­egy, cul­ture and struc­ture.

It’s an in­clu­sive process that takes due con­sid­er­a­tion of all key stake­hold­ers. It starts with un­der­stand­ing the mar­ket and com­pet­i­tive con­text for the change. But it doesn’t stop with the changes that are out­lined above.

In a busi­ness that is so de­pen­dent on peo­ple be­ing mo­ti­vated and skilled, there is more to do. Com­mu­ni­ca­tions is a key en­abler of suc­cess­ful change.

Tri­an­gle is also de­vel­op­ing a new com­mu­ni­ca­tions plan which in­cludes a timetable of de­fined team meet­ings, one-toone re­view meet­ings be­tween man­agers and their teams and a holis­tic learn­ing and de­vel­op­ment plan. That will be key to em­bed­ding the new struc­ture.

Check back next week for a two-page in­ter­ac­tive train­ing course. I will pro­vide tips on how to in­crease your sales with great cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence, fea­tur­ing ex­cerpts from my new book, Premium is the New Black. Alan O’neill is man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Kara Change Man­age­ment, spe­cial­ists in strat­egy, cul­ture and peo­ple de­vel­op­ment. Go to www.kara.ie if you’d like help with your busi­ness. Busi­ness ad­vice ques­tions for Alan can be sent to sun­day­busi­ness@in­de­pen­dent.ie

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