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The true cost of re-organisations – Stakeholder relations are a major casualty of regular reorganisations

There is a famous quotation, attributed to Petronius, which talks about the military being organised in teams, and laments that he was to learn from experience that we tend to meet any new situation by reorganizing; and a wonderful method it can be for creating the illusion of progress while producing confusion, inefficiency, and demoralization.

It now seems that the author of Satyricon never wrote these words, but that hasn’t stopped business gurus and others from using them to make a familiar point – that there are serious disadvantages to the management obsession with re-organisations. It is deeply embedded in the culture of some Companies; there is an annual October revolution, or an institutionalised kleptomania – the practice of lifting people or whole departments and dropping them somewhere else! This game of musical chairs was once mostly a private sector phenomenon, but the public sector is now just as culpable.


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