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Getting Buy-in From Teams When Restructuring

Leadership
Internal Communication
Reorganization
Team processes

22 June, 2018

Swapan Rajdev, the CTO of Haptik, explains how he was able to reorganize his company while getting buy-in from his employees.

Problem

Six months ago, Haptik went through some reorganization to make sure we were building pods and teams in a way that would help the company to scale. To do this, we held a quarterly offsite meeting to discuss what the reorganization should look like. However, within three months we realized that what we had set up wasn't scaling well. Because of this, three months ago we decided we needed to reorganize a bunch of things.

Actions taken

When you reorganize your company frequently, people will often start to think the company is unstable and will question why things are changing so much. Because of this, we were facing a sensitive situation. We really had to reorganize because otherwise, we would hurt the business, but we were unsure about how to do this in a gentle way. In the past, the CEO, a couple of VP's, and I would have management meetings to discuss our plan of action. Each VP would then talk to their teams and would start implementing the changes, without much cross-team communication. However, when you try to do things secretly, people will notice and it can cause a lot of stress. This time, I decided to talk to each of the teams, to get their buy-in and to gather their feedback. I hinted at the issue we were facing and asked them how they would solve the problem. This allowed them to give solutions and was important as it avoided our teams from feeling as though they were having decisions imposed on them. When you discuss changes in a closed room you miss out on a lot of feedback that you would never think about by yourself. We got a lot of good ideas from people about how things should be changed. When we announced the reorganization in our next offsite meeting, everyone was ready for the changes and it wasn't a surprise to anyone. Because of this, everyone was welcoming of the changes, and people were more aligned with the business' goals.

Lessons learned

When faced with a difficult business situation, you're not alone. Your team may have valuable suggestions and no matter how senior or junior, it's important to get buy-in from the people close to the issue you are facing. Recognize the problem and then talk with the people affected in order to come up with solutions together.


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