Building Effective Organizational Structures through Ground Up Restructuring

2023.09.18 06:10 AM By Universal Creative Solutions
restructuring a business

Whether you're looking to scale your company or streamline operations for increased efficiency, restructuring a business is crucial to remain competitive. If you decide to reorganize your business, we recommend taking the ground-up approach. Building a company from the ground up can be a daunting task. It must maintain effective organizational structures with defined roles, each working in unison to accomplish a bigger goal.


Rather than hiring roles that don't have any direct tie to the output, we want to take a bottom-up approach. That means identifying the essential processes and resources for client acquisition, fulfillment, and retention. As a result, you can assign roles within the company directly to these processes.


In this guide, we'll explain the step-by-step approach to creating an efficient organizational structure to ensure productivity within your company.

Why Restructure Your Company In the First Place?  

Restructuring a company is a strategic move driven by the need to adapt, evolve, and thrive in an ever-changing business landscape. It's a deliberate process that involves reorganizing the company's structure, roles, and processes to better align with its goals and changing circumstances. Here are some concrete reasons why companies opt for restructuring:

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Leadership Transition:

Adapting to Growth:

As businesses expand, they often outgrow their existing structures. This growth under existing structure can lead to inefficiencies and hinder further growth. Restructuring streamlines operations eliminates bottlenecks, and allows for more efficient resource allocation.

Responding to Change:

External factors like evolving market trends, technological advancements, or regulatory shifts can change how a company operates. Restructuring helps businesses stay agile and responsive to these changes, maintaining their competitive edge.

New leaders often bring fresh perspectives and strategies. Bringing onboard new leaders can realign the organization with their vision and priorities, ensuring a cohesive approach.

Cost Management: 

Economic challenges or financial constraints may require a reassessment of spending and resource allocation. The reorganization process identifies cost-saving opportunities, such as removing redundancy or optimizing processes.

Employee Development and Satisfaction:

A well-planned restructuring process considers employee growth, offering advancement and skill development opportunities. It aims to create a motivating work environment aligned with the company's mission and values.

Achieving Strategic Goals: 

When a company sets new objectives, such as entering new markets or diversifying its offerings, its current structure may not support these ambitions. Restructuring aligns resources, processes, and talent with these strategic goals for smoother execution. By understanding these motivations, you can better appreciate how a ground-up approach to restructuring can reshape your organization for the better. Now, let's explore how this approach can be practically implemented to effectively reorganize your company's structure.

analyzing business processes and resources

Identifying Essential Processes and Resources  

The foundation of any organization begins with a clear understanding of the essential processes required to acquire clients, fulfill their needs, and retain them. This initial step involves thoroughly analyzing the core functions that drive your business. It's crucial to distinguish between what is necessary and what can be considered supplementary. This process will leave you with well-defined processes and resource requirements.


Begin by thoroughly analyzing your business's operations. What core processes drive client acquisition, fulfillment, and retention? Start with a brainstorming session involving all team members to ensure you capture all essential functions. These processes should directly contribute to the core purpose of your business.


For example, if you're running an e-commerce business, core processes might include product sourcing, website management, marketing, sales, customer support, and order fulfillment.


Once you've identified these core processes, the next step is to evaluate their volumes. Determine the workload associated with each process. For instance, how many customer inquiries does your customer support team handle daily? How many orders does your fulfillment team process per hour? Quantify these numbers to understand the scale of your operations.


This evaluation will help you allocate resources effectively. Processes with high volumes may require more personnel or advanced tools to ensure smooth operations, while processes with lower volumes may need fewer resources to avoid overstaffing. Precise resource allocation is crucial to avoid the pitfalls of overstaffing or understaffing. This precision can be achieved by aligning resource allocation with process volumes and priorities.


For example, if you discover that order processing is a high-volume task, allocate an appropriate number of staff members and invest in efficient order management systems to streamline the process. Conversely, if a particular function has a lower volume but is mission-critical, ensure you allocate enough resources to maintain high-quality output.


Remember, precision in resource allocation not only optimizes your workforce but also prevents waste and keeps your organization agile.
solving problems and identifying solutions

Organizing Processes and Resources into Teams  

Once you've identified the essential processes and allocated resources accordingly, the next step is to organize these processes and resources into teams. The importance of this step cannot be overstated. Effective team organization prevents redundancies and streamlines operations, ensuring each team has a specific purpose and well-defined responsibilities.


One of the critical strategies here is to avoid creating teams with overlapping or too-similar roles. Duplication of responsibilities can lead to confusion, inefficiencies, and conflicts. A well-structured team configuration is the backbone of a productive organization, allowing for smoother collaboration and higher performance.


You want to create teams with well-defined roles and responsibilities. Each team should have a specific purpose and contribute to the larger organizational goals. For instance, you may establish a sales team responsible for client acquisition, a production team for fulfillment, and a customer support team for retention.


Beyond individual roles, each team should be aligned with the larger organizational goals. In the context of a business, this means that the sales team's efforts should directly contribute to the company's growth targets. Likewise, a production team should be oriented towards efficient order fulfillment to support the organization's commitment to timely delivery and customer satisfaction.

Prioritizing First-Level Team Members  

In the process of reorganizing or creating new teams, it's essential to recognize the value of your first-level employees—the individuals who are the backbone of your organization and perform the essential tasks. They are the ones who often execute the day-to-day tasks, interact directly with clients, and ensure the wheels of the organization keep turning smoothly. 

However, their contributions can sometimes go unnoticed, overshadowed by the spotlight that typically falls on managers or higher-ranking individuals. By allowing first-level employees to apply for roles within the new structure first, you retain your most valuable assets and acknowledge their importance. This approach ensures that those who are at the forefront of your operations have a say in shaping the organization's future.


First-level team members are often experts in their roles, having honed their skills over time. They possess in-depth knowledge of the company's operations and are instrumental in maintaining quality and efficiency. Also, many of them already have had direct client interactions. They understand client needs and preferences, making them indispensable in ensuring client satisfaction and retention.


Retaining experienced first-level employees provides stability during organizational changes. Their familiarity with processes and clients can mitigate disruptions and facilitate a smoother transition.

Progressing to Higher-Level Roles  

As your first-level employees fill the foundational roles, the process can then extend to managers and higher-level roles. The logic behind starting with first-level employees is clear—it provides stability and security during the reorganization process, allowing teams to continue their work with minimal disruption.


This approach ensures a seamless transition for higher-level roles, as the groundwork has already been laid. It also enables you to identify potential leaders from within your organization, as those who excel in their initial roles can be evaluated for management tracks, even if they don't secure first-level positions.

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Once the groundwork is laid with first-level employees effectively managing essential processes, the transition to higher-level roles becomes significantly smoother. These first-level employees have already demonstrated their capabilities and alignment with the organization's goals. Now that they have secured their primary role, if they would like to apply for the next level roles you have a clearer picture of who really wants leadership roles and what they can bring to the table. 

When they move into leadership positions, they do so with an intimate understanding of the organization's operations and culture. Familiarity minimizes the learning curve typically associated with external hires, enabling them to assume their new responsibilities with confidence and competence.


In addition, extending the application process to managers and higher-level roles provides a unique opportunity to identify potential leaders from within the organization. First-level employees who excel in their initial roles and display exceptional skills and leadership qualities can be evaluated for management tracks. This approach aligns with the principle that the best leaders often emerge from those who have hands-on experience and a deep understanding of the organization's processes.


By considering first-level employees for higher-level roles, the organization promotes merit-based advancement. It conveys that growth opportunities are based on performance and potential rather than merely seniority or external recruitment. Loyalty to your existing team members in this way fosters a culture of excellence and encourages all employees to strive for continuous improvement.


If you do hire from outside sources, transitioning leadership roles immediately can disrupt ongoing operations and projects. First-level employees are deeply familiar with existing processes, projects, and client relationships. Delaying leadership changes until the foundational roles are secured helps maintain operational continuity, preventing project delays and ensuring clients' needs are consistently met.

Why Start With the Ground-Up Approach

Taking a ground-up approach is a unique concept that often goes against conventional wisdom or leadership's desire to secure their roles first. Unfortunately, leaders often forget that the primary function of leadership is to put your team and company above your needs. Many companies take a top-down approach which betrays the primary purposes of a reorganization by placing personal security above the reason the restructure was required in the first place.


Here are compelling reasons why starting the organizational restructuring process from the ground up, beginning with first-level employees and then advancing to leadership roles, is a strategic and beneficial approach.

Mitigating Anxiety and Ensuring Security  

Starting the reorganization process with leadership roles can often instigate heightened anxiety among your most vital team members, particularly those who have direct customer interactions or collaborate closely on projects.


When these employees see leadership positions changing, it can trigger concerns about their job security and the stability of their teams. However, when you begin with first-level employees, it provides a sense of security. It assures them that the foundational roles in the organization remain solid, reducing negative speculation and fostering a more stable work environment.
project manager analyzing business results

Maintaining Productivity and Project Continuity  

Delaying the selection of new leaders in teams that have not yet been fully defined can lead to productivity dips and project disruptions. First-level employees, accustomed to working within existing processes, may experience uncertainty about their roles in the restructured teams. This uncertainty can result in hesitation to embark on new projects, hampering productivity and potentially causing bottlenecks in ongoing initiatives. By initiating the transition with these essential roles, you maintain project continuity and minimize the risk of productivity loss.

Involving Team Members in Leadership Selection  

An integral part of this ground-up approach is involving team members in evaluating and selecting potential leaders. While it's not the sole decision-making process, it holds significant value. Team members transitioning into new roles can offer invaluable insights into the qualities and capabilities required for effective organizational leadership. Their input can serve as a valuable gauge of a potential leader's suitability and compatibility with the team's dynamics.

Demonstrating Selflessness in Leadership  

Effective leaders are inherently selfless, prioritizing the organization's and their teams' needs over personal positions. This ground-up approach aligns with this principle by placing the most critical roles at the forefront of the reorganization. It sends a clear message that leadership positions are subject to evaluation and adjustment based on the organization's evolving needs. True leaders understand that their primary responsibility is to steer the organization in the best possible direction, even if it means relinquishing their current roles for the greater good.


Building an organization from the ground up is a challenging but rewarding endeavor. It requires a meticulous approach that begins with identifying essential processes, organizing teams, and prioritizing first-level employees. By starting with leadership evaluation, you can mitigate anxiety, maintain productivity, involve team members in decision-making, and demonstrate the selflessness that defines effective leaders.


Adapting and restructuring is essential for growth and success in the ever-evolving business landscape. Embracing this holistic approach to organizational development ensures that your organization is built on a solid foundation and poised for continued growth and innovation. Remember, an organization is only as strong as its people, so invest in your employees, and you'll find your organization thriving from the ground up.