Structure Plan, Part 2

In the book, Bare Bones Change Management: What you shouldn’t not do, Bob Lewis explained the seven must-have elements for any change management effort to have a chance of succeeding. Here are my takeaways from one of the topics discussed in the book.


A structure plan describes how the organization is put together to support the change. The plan includes:

How to organize: To support a change, everyone in the organization needs to know what his/her part of the organization needs to do. If an organization’s basic structure is not consistent with the change we are hoping to install, it will prevent the change from taking place. This component of the plan addresses two key elements: a clear organizing strategy and the specific reporting relationships.

There needs to be clear organizing strategy. Some examples of organizing could be by product, customer segment, size, demographics, sector, channel, or function. After we make the basic organizing decision, we need to define the reporting relationships. The relationships decision can have two folds: 1) flat or deep, and 2) realign, reorganize, or integrate.

Some firms celebrate victory right after the reorganization, but that is too early. A reorganization is not the same as making the change happen.

Facilities: With the organization changes taking place, we will need to plan for the movement and positioning of the people. This component lay out the physical nature of the workplace – who sits near whom and which departments and workgroups are in proximity.

Governance: Every organization has a culture, and the culture defines how we make decisions. This plan component describes both the official process and the informal ones that precede it and surround it.

Accounting: The accounting system tracks the ownership of which expenses and revenue attributed to the change. Bob recommends doing everything we can to keep all political considerations out of the accounting changes.

Compensation: This plan component puts considerations around two concerns: whose compensation has to change, and how evaluation criteria need to change. The behaviors, attitudes, skills, and intangibles the company values for the change must be expressed through training and awareness campaigns.