So you say you want a(n) (r)evolution

I am working with a very talented business leader who is implementing a radical new organization structure. I say radical because while the basis for this structure has been used with great success in other organizations, what we will have at the end of this process will be unique to this business unit in its own right. I am very excited about this because this is the kind of thing HR geeks like myself live for (at least some of us, anyway). But not only is it super cool, I am also confident in its success because he is going about it in two ways:

  1. He is including the team throughout the process. Meetings are held in open and everyone is invited.
  2. It is being proposed as an evolution, not a revolution.

While the first point is definitely blog worthy (I will revisit the topic at another time), the second point is what I want to hone in on today. This leader recognizes that there will be challenges along the way and that perhaps not everything will work exactly as he anticipates it will. Yet he is willing to make the changes necessary as they come.

In other words, the structure will evolve to the unique needs of this organization, and why shouldn’t it? No two organizations are alike, so why do we (and by we I mean me as much as anyone) try to make what worked at one organization work with another?

I’m no Evolutionary Biologist (I’m not even 100% sure I spelled that right), but I do know that animals have evolved over time to adapt to their environment. Genes and traits that have proven useful continue to be generated in future generations and those that weren’t, well… weren’t (ignore the part about being eaten).

So if you are implementing a major change consider whether it is more important to be a Revolution (a quick change), or an Evolution (maybe a little slower). I’m not saying revolutions aren’t necessary – had one not happened, I might be typing this as a citizen of Mexico (this is a blog from Texas, remember), but at the same time not all are successful (those are called “Civil Wars”). Sometimes you need to rip the bandaid off. If there is going to be pain, it is best to get as much of that out of the way as you can so folks can begin healing and focus on making the group successful. If it is just a major change and there may be some discomfort – consider letting it evolve and allow for genuine buy-in. Hopefully your team is collectively smarter than you. If not, you seriously need to consider your hiring strategy…

By the way, if you are even remotely curious about the business leader I am referring to, hop on over to his blog here: In a nod to the transparency I mentioned, he is chronicling the entire journey.

Until next time, y’all!

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