Emerging from the crisis: transforming the company to ensure its sustainability

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In the first two articles of this series, we discussed the first steps to take to get the company out of the risk zone, then the crucial stage of financial restructuring. Once the support of the partners has been obtained, the company must continue its turnaround action. Any crisis requires transformation and the manager will have to adapt his model to the new situation in his market.

New business model, new opportunities

The initial diagnosis made it possible to determine the main causes of failures; it’s time to define a business continuity plan. The manager and his team must therefore redefine a business plan, a strategy and adapt the organization to the world of tomorrow.

A project gives a raison d’être, a vision, an ambition and sets out strategic axes stemming from:

> market positioning analysis,
> portfolio of products and customers,
> the experience delivered to the customer,
> changes in customer expectations and needs,
> new ways of prospecting and forging links with all stakeholders …

Build on the momentum created during crisis management makes it possible to produce a new solid and efficient business model and invest in operational excellence. Because without performance in execution, no profitability is possible.

Finally, has this crisis not become a source of opportunities?

To ensure its competitiveness and sustainability, the company will have to transform itself and in particular:

> Develop your performance
> Create value to develop customer satisfaction
> Transform how it works
> Optimize costs
> Rely on and develop the human wealth of its employees

The 4 key phases of the company’s transformation process

1. Redefinition of the business plan and development of the strategy

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In coming out of the crisis, the future of the company must be reinvented. A new project must be developed and broken down into strategic axes. The formalization of the business plan is important because its communication will be a strong act.

2. Carry out a performance diagnosis

The management of the crisis made it possible to identify the origin of the difficulties. It is necessary to go further and carry out a complete diagnosis. This diagnosis is not a judgment but an objective observation based on figures, interviews and field observations. It is collaborative work with the field teams.

It provides a factual basis for deciding on priority actions and proposing a roadmap over several months. The results are of course shared with the management and the teams concerned in order to align all the stakeholders with the work to be done.

3. Carry out pilot projects

The transformation process is a medium-term process that needs short-term results. It is therefore necessary to quickly put in place the first improvement actions by involving the teams. Eliminating irritants, solving problems, setting up a performance management system are all projects that make it possible to obtain the first successes and to guarantee the training of future referents.

4. Deployment and sustainability

Once the first projects have been completed, the approach should be rolled out to the entire company by following the defined roadmap. It is a question of piloting, monitoring and animating the transformation with rigor, flawlessly and in full transparency on a regular basis. The human component, in this whole process of exiting the crisis, will play an essential role.

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The importance of management for the success of the transformation project

There can be no sustainable and lasting performance without motivation and without a flawless and unconditional investment of the teams. For this, management will have to adapt its practices.

Here are 8 tips that can be applied in this area:

1. Inform about the situation, by playing the transparency card. Knowledgeable employees are able to adapt individually and collectively. This also reduces the anxiety-provoking climate.

2. Do your self-diagnosis and use the strength of exemplarity. Explain what you yourself are changing in your behavior and habits.

3. Make a educational explanation of the new business plan, and of course values who wear it. One allows to stay the course, while the other can give benchmarks in terms of behavior during the duration of the “sensitive” period.

4. Stay tuned to the teams. You must promote the evacuation of stress and the verbalization of fears related to the future, during meetings and / or interviews to remove the brakes and reassure. But be careful: in an emergency, it is not a question of dramatizing or taking charge of what is normally part of the work of your employees. On the contrary, you have to show your confidence and continue to delegate. A ship captain doesn’t lose his temper when times are tough. And this is all the easier when everyone knows the course, and knows what to do (mission)

5. Keep the same level of requirement. Even – and above all – if the company is in difficulty, there can be no reduction in the quality of services and services, which would risk further weakening the company. More than ever, stay focused on the fundamentals, while learning to do just as well or better with less.

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6. Stay positive, do not export stress. A leader is often the focal point of teams. If he falters, the teams, by imitation, risk doing the same.

7. Observe and highlight the efforts of employees and greet them adaptability. Promote their creativity to overcome obstacles. Be adept “test and learn”: let’s test, try and practice the strategy of small steps.

8. Finally, and to return to the previous chapters: always try to to anticipate crises and have checklists of fundamentals, good practices or questions to apply if they occur. By doing this, your decision-making will be swift and smart, and you will turn crisis into opportunity.

The company left the risk zone and obtained the support of its partners. Building on this initial success, it regained confidence in the future and began its transformation. Beyond the methodology, it is the strength of its collective intelligence that will allow it to succeed in its turnaround and guarantee its sustainability.



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