You’re The New CEO Of A Failing Business: These 5 Things Will Help You Survive


Businesses fail and in some cases rise again. However, for most businesses that don’t survive, their initial failure can be attributed to poor management. While there are oftentimes other factors that contribute to a business folding, poor management is the chief cause of failure in business.

When a business fails, it is almost always impossible for the same set of managers to turn the business around using the same products, techniques and team. This has almost always been the reason most companies appoint new management staff, set up new strategies, organize new teams and reinvent their products to be able to make it back into the market.

Most often the responsibility for organizing this process and turning the company around falls on an individual who is either appointed from outside the business or who has been picked from the ranks to lead the initiative. In a situation where you have been appointed to lead this process as the new company CEO, here are some steps you can take in the first 50 days to kickstart the innovation process.

1. Innovate More, Talk Less: The first thing to do at this point is not a press briefing (even though it may be expected), rather, you need to spend time looking at how things are done in all areas of the company and how to improve them to achieve better results.  Most times, companies fail due to many reasons, among which is the inability to innovate. Innovation in most cases traverses the entire organizational structure.
At this point, what you need to do is to carefully look into how things are done in the organisation and come up with ways you can improve upon these methods by implementing key innovative techniques and policies that will allow the company come up with the blue print and action plan to rescue it from shutting down.

2. Carefully Select Your Core Team: For the company to experience any change in its operational procedures, product development and management techniques, individuals who understand the key policies and strategies you wish to implement need to be well informed, articulated and organized.
This team cannot be the generality of the organization’s workforce at the first instance, rather a carefully, hand-picked group of individuals who understand the company’s mission, vision and core competencies and are willing to make great sacrifices to turn the company around.

3. Build on Existing Revenue-Generating Products: The Fact is that you need to survive another day to innovate! So don’t kill your cash generating products while innovating. You need to hold dearly your revenue generating products while making innovations or designing new products. Hence, the first thing to do is to concentrate efforts in making sure that the products currently making you money and maintaining your customers base are in the best shape.
Any attempt to scrap the entire structure in the name of fresh innovation may result in bad news for the company so keep the revenue continously flowing in while aggressively building your next innovative products. 

4. Discard Unwanted Structures, People and Products: There is no need keeping anything not very important to the survival of the company. So as the new CEO, one of the first things you need to do is to seperate the grains from the chaff.
You have to simply do away with all the products that are not the focus of the company and fire all redundant, incompetent and lazy employees. Getting rid of products that are not the focus of the company will enable the organisation focus its production, marketing, research and sales efforts towards the products that generate money for the business. The same way firing those not at their best in the company will make room for the very best employees while reducing labour cost and creating room for a new workforce. Apart from labour and products, the new CEO also needs to get rid of excessive bureaucracy and administrative bottle-necks that have hindered innovation in the company.

5. Swing Into Action – Quickly: After making all your plans, developing products, building teams and putting structures that will enhance innovation in place, the most effective way to advance is to get into action. You just have to do the actual work of the organisation to see all these plans become successful. Create the impression that you have started implementing the strategies set and make a point of never missing deadlines and targets. Implement a system of reward and punishment for committees and teams that meet or fail to meet their goals.

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