Friday, February 25, 2011

Rachid Sefrioui: Making Turnarounds Work !

Turning around a business is not for the faint of the heart. It takes guts and rapid decision making. Of course it is always easy when all is turned around and stabilized to "second-guess" every past decision, but the main thing is that 7 out 10 decisions were good at the time they were taken. 

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

"I thank you all for having a strike today"

The everyday work and drama of restructuring a business, whether it is as a result of a merger, a rollup, an integration or simply to rescue a business, can be pretty amazing, in good and bad.

You do find yourself frequently communicating to various stakeholders trying to inspire them to take action in the right direction. Erik actually spent the time to catalog the best phrases that came out from his gut. Funny as hell!

In my recent 18-company rollup across multiple cultures, I uttered many of these phrases, probably a few that would be censored, as sometimes certain cultures only react, instead of "act".

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

At what pace do you restructure a business?

It's been my experience that restructuring a business is more of an art form rather than a science. In rolling up 18 IT companies, I realized that I was not following my investors pace. Instead I was focusing on the underlying businesses.

Does that affect the business? sure it does. does it impact your management decisions, absolutely.
So why pace yourself to your investors timing? Because they are the source of capital, and they don't care what's inside the blackbox, they only care about capital gains and returns. And they are right.

Frequently CEOs in a roll-up become wrapped up in putting together the right organization, the perfect business unit, the optimal technology partnerships. This is fine, but it does not fill your investors objectives.

So focus on your investors and board timing. They call the shots because they control the cash.