The staff changes made by Mark Dantonio are about much more than “simply” coming up with a new offensive coordinator. New voices in new meeting rooms, new final decisions regarding game plans, new ideas on how to leverage personnel – it’s all baked into Dantonio’s staff overhaul. And “re-orgs” happen all the time – because they work.
To the folks who might be sensitive and leery of satirical ways in which we point out the public hysteria that occurs after a 3-time Big Ten Championship head coach makes changes to his staff, please just stop and think about this:
Departments within companies that are massively successful always are executing “re-organizations.”
Let’s say you’ve been working at a sports media broadcasting company – we’ll call it SBTN – for a lot of years.
And let’s say that SBTN has a department head (sort of like the department’s “head coach”) who runs the department that you belong to who finds it useful and helpful to execute “re-orgs” once every two or three years.
This type of thing happens all over the place and any business leader across America will say that there must be a regular examination of the managerial structure that exists within a company, within a department, and even within small portions of the department.
And a “re-org” doesn’t necessarily have to include “blowing out” the one guy who has become the guy with the dark cloud over him and bringing in a hot shot whiz from one of the other companies with whom SBTN competes.
Some department heads might be inclined to go out and grab that hot shot whiz from another company – but, maybe those department heads haven’t ever won a single Big Ten East Division Championship or a single Big Ten Conference Championship (let alone three).
A decision might lead to SBTN’s Director of Strategic Partnerships and SBTN’s Director of Business Development being called into the office of the department head for a discussion that might include the department head saying things like this:
“Stan, Beverly – I’ve made a decision – I’m going to ask you two to switch positions in my attempt to give our team a whole new approach to how we’re running and driving this department. You are both valuable members of our staff here and you’ve had as much to do with the three awards we’ve gotten from Acme Advertising Magazine that have named us the Midwest’s #1 Sales Force. But, we’ve had a bit of a slump lately and since you two know everyone here, know all of the reasons why we’ve been successful along with all of the reasons why we’ve sort of hit a rut, and that you two have all of the strong relationships with all of the internal and external people who have been so important as we’ve built this department, I think it makes great sense to keep the pride, passion, commitment, dedication, and overall chemistry this department has in tact by avoiding the temptation to recruit that one guy from Waverly Advertising over in Plainville – I think his name is Edward Schlucktenweld – to come in here and disrupt what we’ve built simply because that’s what that one AdAge reporter said we should do and that’s what a lot of our Twitter followers have been demanding. I don’t want to jettison either of you – like I said, you’ve contributed so much to the successes we’ve had. But we need a fresh approach. So, I want you to know that you are a part of my team, you are wanted and needed here and you are going to continue to help us achieve great things. And, I’m asking Valerie to step up and begin to run the Executive Committee that you’ve been running, Stan. You’ve worked your butt off on that Executive Committee, Stan – and you’ve done so many great things with it. But it’s time to re-energize the Committee. So, Valerie will take over, She’s ready, everyone respects and understands that she’s well-suited to run the Committee, and I believe she’s going to do a great job. So, I need both of you to recognize that I think the best way to move forward is for you to trade roles within our department – and I need you to recognize that I, obviously, have every confidence in the potential that you both bring to your new positions. I want you to let me know if you have any problems with this, if you would rather go work somewhere else, or if you think there is another way for us to do this. But, just know, this is what I think is best and I believe this is the best plan for your success and our department’s success…..”
That kind of thing happens all the time.
And when Stan and Beverly are called into the office to have that meeting, the meeting doesn’t occur out of nowhere – they’re very aware of the fact that the meeting is going to take place at some point because they know how to read a quarterly Sales report.
And Stan and Beverly probably think that they’re going to be fired.
And when the department head delivers that speech, how do Stan and Beverly respond?
They’re grateful to have a job with the company that they’d prefer to continue to work for.
They’re probably initially disappointed – but, since the facts and numbers and sales results speak for themselves, they’d have to be sort of ignorant to not understand that some sort of change is necessary.
Perhaps once they walk out of the meeting, they walk out together and maybe say to each other, “Wow – I thought I was a lock to get canned. This is a pretty good turn of events – let’s make this work. You want to have a beer after work and talk about this and how we can make this turn into a great thing for us?”
Perhaps later that night, they both are able to think about how this could really give them a whole new start, a new sense of purpose, a whole new energy, and a whole new shot at achieving success.
Maybe the department thrives with Valerie now running the Executive Committee.
Department heads are all different and they all take different approaches to making sure their department is as successful as it can be.
But, departmental “re-orgs” happen all the time and these “re-orgs” are an organic part of the ways departments and companies grow and evolve all the time.
It’s perfectly understandable for plenty of people to think that “re-orgs” are silly and that sometimes a “re-org” doesn’t do the trick since people need to be removed so that brand new voices and brand new perspectives are brought in to improve things.
But it’s not at all unusual for a person in charge of a unit or a department or a company to “simply rearrange” the staff that exists in an effort to improve the company.
I hope I haven’t insulted anyone by pointing out things that everyone already knows.