The Change Collective

Never waste a good crisis

A manufacturing company was in a big crisis. Their poor financial results made it clear that organisational restructuring and a new behaviour was necessary. By using the crisis as a starting point for transformation, buy-in was secured fast and the crisis was averted in 6 months.


The results of the company were under par for over a year. Difficult decisions were postponed to avoid resistance in the organisation. However, by not acting, leadership left the company without guidance and employees became disengaged. An even bigger performance crisis had begun, and limited time was left to make crucial decisions to get the organisation back on track. But how to get the company out of this downward spiral?

Rethink crisis

It all started by really listening to the employees. By establishing a quick process where leaders went into the organisation to hear the fundamental issues, a clear analysis could be made, and employees started to come back on board because they felt they had been taken seriously. Now it was time to follow through, together with the board, tough decisions could be made after addressing the obstructive patterns within the board and the organisation. A transformation storyline was created, using the crisis as a lever for fundamental change. Working groups were used to co-create the organisational restructuring plans based on the gathered feedback. This way employees were aligned on the plans and decisions could be taken fast.

Reshape value

A shared sense of urgency was created within all levels of the organisation. But more importantly engagement and buy-in was restored due to the open and transparent process. People stayed actively involved in this process via communication, small group (working) sessions and town halls. A great driving force for change was created that managed to break through old patterns. This ensured successful delivery of the key changes within 6 months. Performance was up again and the new value created made the organisation ready for the future.

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