Successful leaders know their job is to ignite cultural change to launch a turn around, (then to get out of the way and let it happen).
Corporate “turn-arounds” are about cultural change!
There are a number of pieces that will have to fit together, but if the culture is not changed, they will soon wither away.
Culture is the glue that keeps the pieces from popping apart!
The mechanics of a corporate turn around, are fairly straight forward:
- Decide on the approach you need to take.
- Get focused on the fixes that will kick start recovery, and keep it moving.
- Pump up the energy to make it happen.
How you decide to approach a turn around is one of the most important decisions you will ever make.
The best approach is to:
- Fix what cries out to be fixed and get to work fixing. If you have to stop the bleeding – stop it. If there are quick fixes that will pump up revenue, make them – it’s a great way get the message out that there is new leadership prepared to make decisions.
- Identify those 3-4 high impact areas that will be the “rising tide that will lift all the boats”. You can’t fix everything but if you key in on those major initiatives that will pull the organization along. Raising the wages in all the US Walmart stores was all about repositioning the company for the long term by increasing loyalty and letting everyone know that the name of the game is get positive and feel good about the service you deliver.
- Get visible in your leadership. Sell, re-enforce and talk it up. Make sure there’s a clear message that there is no going back and that this is that start of a whole new day.
Focus is where leaders earn their money, and get to keep their jobs. It is up to the leader to get the priority list down to a manageable level. After consultation, leaders define WHAT outcomes need to be achieved and how success and progress will be measured. It is then time to turn things over to the people that can get the job done to decide the inputs and to come up with the plan that defines HOW to get the job done.
Then it’s a case of unleashing all that energy really turned on people can deliver, supporting them when they make the odd mistake and celebrating their success with them.
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April 2, 2015