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« Drucker on Leadership | Main | Charting a Course to 2010 »

How not to re-organize your business

How not to re-organize your business – an analogy

If you wanted to improve the efficiency of a V8 engine you would not simply pull off a couple spark plug wires; thereby “turning it into” a V6.  The results would leave you more than a little depressed.

Yet many wholesalers do effectively that when they look to improve the efficiency of their business – cut a route or two and that’s that.  Wrong.

It is possible to build a V6 which is more efficient, quieter, faster, and more powerful than the old V8.  But to do so you must start from scratch – start anew.

If you truly want to improve the efficiency of your business you need to re-design it from the ground up.  You need to design it for the world of today and tomorrow – not yesterday.

How?  In business-speak you need to begin with strategic planning. Start with a completely blank slate.  Your territory is where it is, the roads are where the roads are, the bridges are where the bridges are, and the retailers are where the retailers are.  Your warehouse is where it is but this can be changed in the mid- to long-term.  Do you see my point?

As a mental process assume your organization has no employees since there is no organization yet.  Therefore things like present routing or compensation or employee concerns or a thousand other issues don’t restrict our thinking since none of them exist – we are building a new company.  This is the first step in building a new organization, not pulling off a couple spark plug wires and watching your “new” V6 sputter and lurch down the street.

From there you develop a plan and then implement the plan.  Simple.

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