Organizational Realignment

Organizational Realignment is the process of changing the way a company does business. There may be multiple reasons for which management of an organization decides to undertake realignment - from underperformance to stagnation. It is the responsibility of the leadership to make sure that the various parts of the organization are aligned for it to function properly.

Successful Organizational Alignment
The parts of the organization that need to function smoothly:

  • Work Processes: Work processes are the daily tasks employees perform to create and deliver value. To create results, leaders must identify and prioritize the work processes that create marketplace differentiation.
  • [[Structure & Governance: An organization's structure and governance must be shaped in a way that allows you to deliver on your differentiating capabilities and implement your strategy. Rather than consider structure and strategy as two separate issues, leaders should focus first on strategy and then structure the organization to support it.
  • Information & Metrics: Information systems should be designed to ensure that the right information - that which allows leaders to solve critical problems or make decisions that impact strategy - gets to the right people at the right time. Metrics should provide data that helps leaders align their business model with organizational priorities.
  • People & Rewards: This system should be aligned to motivate employees and maximize their potential while supporting the organization's strategic goals. For example, an organization with a strategy that focuses on creating differentiated customer experiences may decide to provide extra training to their public-facing employees.
  • Continuous Improvement: To keep pace with changes in the marketplace and within the organization, an organization must have a system to continually review and realign all systems within it. Leaders should keep a "big-picture view" of the organization, frequently examining whether their organization choices are optimally aligned to achieve their goals.
  • Leadership & Culture: The beliefs, behaviors and norms within an organization should be cultivated to contribute to differentiation and value. Leaders can achieve this by modeling the desired behaviors, basing new priorities and programs on those behaviors and aligning other organizational choices in way that supports the desired culture.

When to Consider an Organizational Realignment[1]
“Sometimes managers and lower-level executives feel the pressure to initiate a redesign in their area simply so they don’t seem complacent in comparison to others. When considering an organization redesign, identify your motivations to make sure that it’s the right move, at the right time." - Reed Deshler

A skilled leader must understand what signs signal that their organization's choices are no longer aligned. Below is an illustration of the six signs that an organization may be in need of realignment

Six Signs for the Need of Organizational Realignment
source: Align Org

By monitoring key performance indicators and industry trends, leaders can determine if the time is right to realign their organization. Identifying the right time to act can be the difference between being the next Amazon…or the next Blockbuster.

Implementing an Organizational Realignment[2]
With any organizational realignment or restructuring the challenge and real work is in the details of implementation. There are risks, challenges and issues to identify, address and manage. Realignment can be as small as rearranging a few positions and responsibilities or a major re-positioning of large divisions, along with changes to their operating units, processes and position responsibilities. Below is a summary of guidelines to use for your particular realignment or restructuring implementation.

  • Document the End Result, Also Benefits and Negative Impacts. Have a specific, well documented and understandable (to all constituencies) description of the end result.
  • Manage the Implementation – Assign Responsibility and Authority, Also Necessary Resources. One position should be given authority and responsibility for managing the realignment implementation.
  • Have an Implementation Plan. Your implementation plan will lay-out your objectives, actions, timelines, milestones, responsibilities and points in the implementation when you review the status of the realignment implementation – what is going well, not going well and any adjustments to make. Your plan should also state the risks to a successful realignment and how you will monitor and manage these risks, including employees responsible for managing each risk.
  • Deliver Orientation and Training. If employees will be reassigned to new operating units and/or positions, give them the necessary orientation to the new operating unit and training if there is a change in their responsibilities.
  • Prepare Executives and Managers for Transferred Employees. Managers in work units to which employees are being transferred, should receive the necessary help in preparing for the new employees.
  • Have a Communications Plan. Identify all parties that should be informed at each stage in the realignment implementation process, and the timing and content for the communication.
  • Include Key Executives Early. Include your key executives in the initial considerations of how the realignment will be implemented and monitored. In any event, most of them should have important roles. Do not overlook IT.
  • Empower Employees and Listen to Them. Hopefully you included employees in considering and planning the realignment
  • Establish Trust. Organization leaders, particularly those directly involved in the realignment, must establish employee trust in their leadership, and also between employees.
  • Consider Human Concerns – Resistance to Change and Morale. Change, sometimes even minor organization change, can create uncertainty about the future, and causes fears about a job loss or the ability to succeed in doing something new. During the realignment closely monitor employee morale, interactions, comments and complaints. Implement whatever remedial action is necessary to address these issues which should be taken seriously.

Organizational Realignment Example[3],br /> The Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC; Governor: Akira Kondoh) partially realigned the organizational structure and renamed some of the Groups, with a view to strengthening the governance framework and enhancing management control. The diagram below reflects the changes.

Partial Organizational Realignment and Renaming of Groups
Source: Japan Bank for International Cooperation

See Also

Flat Organizational Structure
Holacratic Organizational Structure
Hierarchical Organization
Organization Breakdown Structure (OBS)
Organization Chart
Organization Design
Organizational Absorption
Organizational Agility
Organizational Alignment
Organizational Architecture
Organizational Behavior
Organizational Capability
Organizational Change
Organizational Change Management (OCM)
Organizational Commitment
Organizational Commitment Questionnaire (OCQ)
Organizational Configurations
Organizational Culture
Organizational Culture Assessment Instrument (OCAI)
Organizational DNA
Organizational Development
Organizational Effectiveness
Organizational Efficiency
Organizational Evaluation
Organizational Goals
Organizational Health Index (OHI)
Organizational Inertia
Organizational Infrastructure
Organizational Integrity
Organizational Learning
Organizational Maturity
Organizational Memory
Organizational Performance
Organizational Project Management
Organizational Readiness
Organizational Resilience
Organizational Theory


  1. Six Signs it may be time for an Organizational Realignment Align Org Solutions
  2. Implementing an Organizational Realignment - Useful Guidelines GovLoop
  3. Partial Organizational Realignment and Renaming of Groups JBIC