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4 essentials of reengineering a business

What happens when a business needs to change, drastically? What then, are the ways to deal with making such a change?

As an Apple pioneer evangelist for desktop publishing, I relished all my experiences from evangelist, to software developer, to solutions consultant, to eventual simply – user. The iconic years for Apple included my time in the 1980s, but also 1997, when ousted Steve Jobs returned to Apple. When Jobs returned, Apple was bleeding, with US$1 billion loss on a US$7 billion revenue, and a spectrum of products nothing like the simple elegance Apple once was (remember the Newton, Performa, servers?)

The recent news about Twitter are expected. Twitter is no different as with any company that needs a fundamental change. Serious job cuts are to be expected.

What are the key factors to reengineering a company?

1) Scrutinize to the last bit.

All the nuts and bolts of a company that needs to be reengineered should be scrutinized. Leave no person/tech/process/relationshp unturned.

2) Change fast.

Bite the bullet fast and make changes fast. There will be a lot of pain, and pain is best suffered quickly rather than prolonged. Job cuts, systems obsolescence, process streamlining, all need a speedy execution.

3) Keep agile.

After scrutinizing and making drastic changes, keep things light and manageable. Should things begin to bloat even a little, trim again. Think Japanese decluttering (斷捨離), where we cut useless relationships, relieve attachment to objects or people, and boostrap. Think function rather than form.

4) Communicate clearly.

All businesses going through serious change needs good internal and external #communication. Work with your team and engage experts to communicate these painful changes to all stakeholders.

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