January 15, 2016 Kelley Styring

Harness the Winds of Change: 3 Reasons to Embrace Restructuring

Credit: iStock/xochialco
Credit: iStock/xochialco

Credit: iStock/xochialco

Mergers, acquisitions, reorganizations and restructurings are all part of the corporate insights professional’s life. Unfortunately, they bring uncertainty, insecurity and fear along with them. It makes sense: reductions in force are often part of the package, which result in people feeling out of control. Morale takes a major hit, with the “survivors” feeling guilty and overwhelmed.

Sometimes, it’s an internal “merger.” Many companies are bringing Consumer Insights together with Business Analytics that originated in finance, information technology, CRM, or R&D.  They’re finding themselves in what may feel like a forced marriage and no one knows how to work together.  They don’t even know each other or what the other function does. The top brass thinks they’re going to wring the most value out of bringing these groups together but they’re often looking only at efficiency.  The real question is: How to create effectiveness?
What if you could harness the power of change and actually make change a source of leverage for your Insights Department? What if you could blunt the fear and make everyone productive quickly? What if you could take the disparate parts and make it a real team?
Leaders of market research and consumer insight teams who find themselves facing these kinds of changes have more power to take charge of the future than they might think. Instead of being battered by the winds of change, look at this as an opportunity to take control of the situation by proactively building a future strategy together and re-branding your department for higher visibility and impact.

Think about it: How many times have you found yourself wishing that you could do things differently? Carve out the important focus areas and big contributions. Be valued differently by the rest of the company – in line with the team’s worth? Now is your chance!
Having facilitated this process for several companies, I’ve found it succeeds for three reasons:

  1. Control: It helps you and your people take a greater degree of control over your own destiny by planning your future strategy and how you will function in this new world. No one knows what you do better than you do and no one is positioned better to get real results from a new strategy. Create the change you want to see. Lead to win.
  2. Bonding: Creating the future of a department together is a strong bonding experience, as your people work through and overcome and an adverse situation together. They emerge as a real team, working together and learning about each other.
  3. Road map: It results in a concrete road map designed to take your department to a new state, both as an effectively operating team and how the department’s role and contributions are perceived within the overall company. It sets expectations with senior management for high value output and paves the way for greater impact.

So, if you find yourself feeling whipped by the winds of change, don’t just try to ride out the storm – take the wheel and pilot your team to new discoveries — together.
If you’d like to talk more about how your department can take control of its future, revitalize the function and turn Consumer Insights into a dream team, contact me.

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