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Seven key questions in departmental shuffles

Seven key questions in departmental shuffles


Leaders can become blasé about corporate restructurings. They make the announcement, assume implementation will occur, and move on to the next item on their agenda. But employees needs to hear certain things before they can turn their attention to implementation. On her People Equation blog, Michigan-based consultant Jennifer Miller lists the seven questions that must be answered in a departmental reshuffling, starting with personal impact:

– Where do I fit?

– Will I like it?

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– What will I be required to do?

As that becomes clearer, employees shift to their colleagues:

– Where do others on my team fit?

– What happens if there's not a place for others?

Then they are prepared to assimilate whether this change will be useful:

– What are the benefits to me, my team, and the company?

Finally, they are ready to discuss the transition, with their seventh question:

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– What is the process for the transition?

In Ms. Miller's experience, leaders breeze through the first six questions, providing only the most cursory explanation. She warns that if staff aren't comfortable with answers to their initial questions, they will find a way to bring the team back to the missing step. Be prepared to communicate answers to their questions several times and in several formats.

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About the Author
Management columnist

Harvey Schachter is a Kingston, Ont.-based writer specializing in management issues. He writes Monday Morning Manager and management book reviews for the print edition of Report on Business and an online column, Power Points. More

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