Scott Burr’s perspective on reorganization

Only change 5 percent

Because Scott is very experienced at leading organizational change and has unique perspectives on innovation and leadership, he is often invited to provide perspective on issues or situations that others may not have considered.

Recently someone asked for his insights on restructuring an organization. He whipped out an email with these five points. 

It took him less than 10 minutes, but the ideas are brilliant in my opinion. He cut through all of the details and “what if’s” and “yes, but’s” and “if only’s” to get at five foundational ideas for creating change in an organization – change that will not destroy the organization and instead has the potential to rejuvenate it. Please don’t be fooled by the simplicity of his response. Here’s what he wrote in that email:

My guiding principles for any reorganization are:

1) Know what you want – be ideal.

2) Only change what must be changed – usually less than 5% of a culture change is essential.

3) Do not lose old values and principles but bring all forward into the new by resolving contradictions.

4) Do not compromise! Identify and resolve contradictions so you get all of what you want not less.

5) Use inventive connections to create synergies to make the old and the new paradigm stronger, better and more ideal.