Recently I talked to a freelance consultant who had been working for a company in a turnaround situation for the last couple of months. This company had been through a long and severe crisis and had now – under new ownership – taken its time to develop and implement a new strategy. Of course this had brought along a major restructuring and change in organisational structure.
The consultant told me about a discussion he had with the people from the strategic planning department there. This team had played a major role during the transformation process. They had worked out most of the details of the new strategy and were now pushing the company through implementation phase. In doing so they turned out to be quite efficient problem solvers for all sorts of problems that came up (and there were many).
Nevertheless, this department would be reduced by half of its team members. The team, obviously, was not happy with that and had asked the consultant for the reasons.
At the first glance, this decision seemed quite reasonable to me. The whole company in terms of sales volume and workforce was to be reduced by about half. A strategic planning department of six would be oversized for a company with not more than 150 employees.
To my surprise, my conversational partner had quite a different perspective. His answer was:
“Well, the company just got a new strategy. You will not need to touch it for the next three years.”
Well, I personally hope that this company will act somewhat differently as soon as all the consultants leave the house. I will surely keep an eye on it to see how long it takes until they make the first alterations on their strategy (or not) and how successful they will be with it.