The historian Charlton Ogburn, once observed, “We tend …to meet any new situation by reorganizing; and a wonderful method it can be for creating the illusion of progress while producing confusion, inefficiency, and demoralization.”
I once worked for a company that, for a period of about a year, reorganized on average about every three months. Talk about chaos! I believe, as was the case here, that when some managers don’t know what else to do, reorganizing at least gives the appearance that they are taking action.
Reorganizations can be terribly disruptive because there are always winners and losers and the rumors before and after the event itself tend to add to the anxiety. When I was a CIO, decisions to reorganize, which I rarely did, were driven by one or the following:
A change in the structure or direction of the overall business itself such as a merger, acquisition or downsizing;
A realignment of resources to support a new strategic opportunity; or,
Changes in key personnel allowing us to better use our available talent.
Reorganizations without a clear reason and a clear and well-executed communications plan usually lead to disaster!
The honeymoon may indeed be very short, if it exists at all. The due dilligence on a new job is really critical, especilly in the case of CIO jobs where the stakes are high and the tolerance for failure low. A while back I wrote a post titled Seven ways to find out if that new job is right for youthat addresses that very issue. Know what you are getting into!