Your organization is into few businesses. You already have set of competencies. Now suddenly the organization needs to expand into new paradigms involving very different processes and skills.

  • Data analytics in company which had been only a low end IT service provider.
  • Hardware competency in software company.
  • Software skills in manufacturing SME with no prior High-Tech exposure

You need to acquire same skills in each business.

If you feel like adding the skills to all teams at once, take a pause, deep breath and read on. 

I bet the following WILL go wrong:

  • Every team hires the skills. New hires will feel out of place in all of these teams. It is a different culture and thinking.
  • No management competency to manage the different process and to connect with these alien new hires
  • No top management focus on learning the ropes of new game. The new hires and management will remain out of sync.
  • Disaster follows

Expanding to New Business

Then how do you do it ?

  • First, start with a clear peaceful mind. Do not do it in anxiety. If needed take professional counselor support to clear your head. It is ok to talk to someone. Talking to professional counselor does not have to have the stigma. There is difference between psychologist and therapist.
  • If you are all set, go ahead. Create a competency center to start with it. A common horizontal team to serve the needs of all the businesses.
  • Have specific management focus to play the new game
  • Eventually when there is critical mass and members are integrated into organization, spread to respective groups.

One Good Example of Restructuring

One organization I know had started off as software center. It structured software R&D into 6 of their business units. Later, it had the need for expanding into hardware. Instead of just hiring hardware folks in respective business teams, it created a common hardware team and common infrastructure. Once there was critical mass, the teams were spread into respective business groups.

This way, careers were taken care. There was ecosystem for hardware folks to feel comfortable instead of being in respective silos. For the organization, it meant that the initial investments were optimally used. For the senior people hired in hardware, there was sufficient team strength and budget in initial days. This gave enough room for the leader to grow the teams to new heights and to grow his own career.

How did you handle entering into new domain ?


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