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Leading Corporate Turnaround

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Leading Corporate Turnaround

How Leaders Fix Troubled Companies


15 min read
10 take-aways
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What's inside?

Rescuing a failing company requires making tough, unpopular decisions. Bring in the pros to do it.

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Managing a successful turnaround is tough, and it requires tough actions by "company doctors" who gallop in to rescue companies from the brink of financial death. Although most management projects require subtlety and tact, turnarounds need quick, blunt actions, such as firing top managers or selling unprofitable divisions. Stuart Slatter, David Lovett and Laura Barlow present a blueprint for people engaged in turnarounds. Using interviews with 80 turnaround specialists in the United Kingdom, the authors make their point – often more than once. The most interesting and useful parts of this volume are the short, boxed case studies in each chapter. getAbstract recommends this informative book on a little-known business topic to creditors, attorneys, accountants, venture capitalists and curious managers, as well as to specialized consultants who may become involved in turnarounds.


The Leadership Factor

Leading an ailing company requires different leadership skills from leading a healthy one. A corporate turnaround team makes abrupt, often unwelcome changes, such as reducing staff and implementing financial controls, in a short time. The arrival of leadership is a symbol that the old way of doing business is going to change. To gain the confidence and participation of the various stakeholders, the new team is under pressure to produce immediate tangible results.

Turnaround teams usually include the following:

  • "Turnaround executives" – Also known as "company doctors." Key stakeholders such as debtors or creditors give the new executives the authority to make decisions in the crisis.* "Financial stakeholders" – These include banks and shareholders. They may not be directly involved in the turnaround, but they often are the first to see the need for one.
  • "Advisers" – Accounting firms used to be the most common kinds of advisers, but in the U.S., which has imposed new regulations on these firms, specialized consultants now offer turnaround advice instead.
  • "Chief restructuring officer" – An executive who has experience...

About the Authors

Stuart Slatter is a founding partner of a firm that consults on corporate turnarounds. He is a visiting fellow in strategic and international management at the London Business School and the author of Gambling on Growth and Corporate Turnaround. David Lovett is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of England and Wales, as well as a fellow and founding member of the Society of Turnaround Professionals. Laura Barlow is a director of a turnaround and restructuring practice, and has worked with numerous companies. She is a chartered accountant.

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