April 2021

Navigating Restructure...

I was speaking recently with a client who has worked extensively in the mining sector in a number of countries and we were discussing the challenges that a restructure can bring. The client shared his experience that when dealing with a restructure in Japan, it was necessary to send in a non-Japanese person who was not based there to drive the changes and restructure that were necessary for the organisation. Often this is the easiest option particularly in cultures where relationships are prioritised. It is much more difficult for a person connected to and embedded in the culture to make difficult changes than for someone who comes in as an agent of change and who is essentially unattached. It is of course critical that there is sponsorship for the leadership to do this successfully.

Restructure is never an easy task, yet it is essential for organisational health. Similar to pruning a plant, it refreshes and reinvigorates new growth.

Here are some points to keep in mind when navigating restructure…

1) Restructure is a journey and not a destination. At times you will need to be agile, adapt and recalibrate.

2) Understand both the organisational culture and national cultures involved in the restructure and reflect on how it will impact.

3) Have a strong leader who can create a constant and compelling message about the change.

4) Pay attention to those who stay behind and provide emotional support.

5) Treat departing employees fairly.

6) Change is constant. Educate employees on how to develop a growth mindset about it.


Book Recommendation:


Paula Caliguiri, Build Your Cultural Agility:The 9 Competencies of Successful Global Professionals

The investment in global collaboration technology now exceeds US$45 billion and global business travel spending is expected to reach US $1.7 trillion by 2022. Professionals who work in and across different cultures face some of the most cognitively, psychologically and emotionally difficult challenges existing in business today, often without the guide of a corporate compass.

Build Your Cultural Agility is that compass. This book offers strategies to help you develop into a successful global professional, one who can comfortably and effectively work in different countries and with people from different cultures. This book helps you leverage your natural strengths while providing suggestions for developing cultural agility competencies. Build Your Cultural Agility focuses on nine specific competencies that comprise cultural agility: three self-management competencies (tolerance of ambiguity, curiosity and resilience), three relationship-management competencies (humility, relationship-building and perspective-taking) and three task-management competencies (cultural minimization, cultural adaptation and cultural integration). Within each chapter, the Caliguiri provides an example of that competency in action, explains why the competency is critical for success, offers a self-awareness exercise to help you determine your level of proficiency and concludes with suggestions for self-development.