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StrategyMay 02, 2011

Understanding Why Leadership is Critical to Process Reorganization

Matt Allen

Leadership is critical to process reorganization. Difficult situations will require steady leadership with a clear vision. Conflict cannot be avoided, but must be approached head-on. Company executives are critical to facilitate this change.

Are Company Executives Ready to Lean Into Conflict?

Change from process analysis and re-engineering can be painful for the organization. Not all processes will require a total change, and some may survive intact. Some processes that appear healthy, though, will require breaking. This breaking will allow for the creation of a more customer-centric process. There are many peripheral processes, such as commissions, that do not directly interact with customers. These processes must be identified and analyzed for potentially tough changes that affect many organizational groups. To accomplish this, executive sponsors must be willing to lean into the conflict that will result, and not merely stumble or fall into the conflict. They cannot shy away from the tough discussions and decisions and instead they must drive them. There may be a need to reorganize the business. Incentive structures might require modification. There might be a case where a non-complier needs encouragement as an example of the organization’s commitment to change. Strong executive leaders are unafraid of conflict and must directly drive change. Tough discussions and decisions are tough, but that is what distinguishes a manipulative executive from an executive leader. Leaders deal with the difficult issues directly and honestly; manipulators are only concerned about their own personal well-being.