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Managing a Company

Getting Back to Basics: Reengineering Your Company

Reorganizing your closet is a tough challenge, especially if you haven't done it a while. All the clothes fight for space, and blend into one monolithic mass. Finding clothes for the right occasion becomes difficult because they are not organized by type. When you do begin to organize the clothes, you find they no longer fit you, or they no longer match your style. A closet full of clothes, and yet few choices to wear.

Similar to an overstuffed and disorganized closet, companies that have been around for a few years, begin to collect layers of ideas, concepts, processes and procedures, and corporate cultural traits that resemble a mishmash. Such companies lose their thrust and their spark. The aspects that make the company special and give it a unique identity and edge in the marketplace lie buried under the clutter.

Getting Back to Basics

Do you need to de-clutter your company? Have you considered reengineering? If so, then the following questions have probably gone through your mind. What is reengineering? Why should you reengineer your company? What does it entail? How risky it is? What are the benefits? How do you ensure success?

“If your company needs reengineering, you need to make a mental shift.”


Reengineering is rediscovering, repositioning, redirecting, and rewiring your company. Reengineering first involves rediscovering what is central. What is core to the company and what aspects are peripheral? What is the fundamental business model? What market segments, products and services are essential to the business model?


Business Clutter

Over time, as companies add products and services and expand to add new market segments, they lose sight of their core competency, their core value proposition. Their suite of products and services no longer fit together cohesively. Sometimes, products compete with each other, or overlap in ways that confuse the customers and internal teams. The sales team in such companies struggles because they do not have a succinct and clear sales message. The marketing campaigns lack punch.



Returning your company to basics. Eliminate the confusion and ambiguity. Of course, that is easier said than done. Dissecting a company to separate parts that are not integral is a difficult challenge. It may involve a serious political fight within the organization. Different constituents from the board, management team to employees may have contradictory views of what is core. It may almost be tempting to stay with the status quos because the cost and effort to reengineer is too high. Not to mention the risk of disintegration and introduction of chaos and uncertainty.

Leaders who take on the difficult challenge of reengineering a company, especially one that is mired in its past, deserve full appreciation. Often, leaders become part of the system. They lose their ability to change the organization. It takes a new CEO to come in and clean house.


Fire and Re-hire Yourself

If you are a leader of a company that needs reengineering, you need to make a mental shift. In your mind, you need to fire yourself as the CEO. Then you need to hire yourself back. Now, think about what drastic and uncomfortable changes you would be willing to make as the "new" CEO. Don’t be afraid to admit to yourself and others that you may need help in developing a fresh new perspective, and seek that help.

Clean your closet before someone else does. Remove the clutter proactively, so you can save the clothes that you cherish. Someone else may not have the same regard or appreciation for what you cherish.

Ravi Kathuria 
A recognized thought leader, Kathuria has been quoted in various publications including The Wall Street Journal, Barron's, WorldNews, and featured on the BusinessMakers show, CBS Radio, Nightly Business Report, and is a monthly columnist for the SmartBusiness Magazine.

Kathuria is the author of the highly acclaimed book, How Cohesive is your company?: A leadership parable. It is a realistic and intense story of how a CEO struggles to transform the business and, in the process, struggles with his personal transformation.

Kathuria is the founder and president of  Cohegic Corporation, a management consulting, executive coaching and sales coaching firm. Halliburton, Hewlett-Packard, St. Lukes Episcopal Health System, AT&T, and Imperial Sugar Company executives have co-published seminal business articles with Kathuria in the Houston Business Journal on sales effectiveness, performance, corporate culture, and change management.

Invited to speak at large conferences and corporate meetings, Kathuria is a thought provoking and vivacious speaker. He has spoken at the 5th Annual Veterans Entrepreneurship Conference, Rice University, Business Forum on Emerging Markets, University of Houston's Wolff Center For Entrepreneurship, University of Texas' Fleming Center for Healthcare Management, Institute of Internal Auditors, Dover Club, Galleria Chamber of Commerce, American Business Women's Association, French American Chamber of Commerce, Business Resources Group, Financial Executives Networking Group, Silver Fox Advisors, Houston Technology Center and the 2011 SPE Americas E&P Health, Safety, Security, and Environmental Conference.