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If you took over a company...

Discussion in 'Business, Careers & Education' started by Connemara, Jan 12, 2011.

  1. globetrotter

    globetrotter Senior member

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    Size/scale makes a huge difference too.

    Gerstner's book on IBM (who says elephants can't dance) is pretty good about describing the scale of the thing and highlights how you could never really know the details of any company that size. If the company is big enough, even once you're there, you are not going to be able to learn all the areas where you do business.

    .


    good point - I could see, conceivably, finding myself the CEO of a company the size I work for now. although that is a stretch. being the head of sales of a company a little bigger than mine would be more likely. but if anybody offered me a significantly bigger company, I might be flattered but I wouldn't want it.
     
  2. Piobaire

    Piobaire Senior member

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    Some really good stuff here, particularly by GT and Douglas.

    First thing I would do though is...nothing. In fact, I would make a pledge not to make changes for three-six months, as long as the company was a going concern (if it wasn't, I probably would not have "taken it over" unless I had already done extensive due diligence).

    Why nothing? No one will trust you yet. Do the stuff GT, Douglas, and PSG said and get some cred and trust first. Get that and staff will offer up good suggestions for change. Find out why things are done the way they are done before you go changing them.
     
  3. globetrotter

    globetrotter Senior member

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    Some really good stuff here, particularly by GT and Douglas.

    First thing I would do though is...nothing. In fact, I would make a pledge not to make changes for three-six months, as long as the company was a going concern (if it wasn't, I probably would not have "taken it over" unless I had already done extensive due diligence).

    Why nothing? No one will trust you yet. Do the stuff GT, Douglas, and PSG said and get some cred and trust first. Get that and staff will offer up good suggestions for change. Find out why things are done the way they are done before you go changing them.


    good point - when I started in my present job, my CEO didn't let me change a thing for 6 months. nada. I was totally freaked out - I said "Where I come from, if you don't bring in results in 90 days, you're out of a job" and they said not to worry. but I was really worried. it was a very smart way of doing it. but its also not a publicly traded company. the CEO is the owner
     
  4. Piobaire

    Piobaire Senior member

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    good point - when I started in my present job, my CEO didn't let me change a thing for 6 months. nada. I was totally freaked out - I said "Where I come from, if you don't bring in results in 90 days, you're out of a job" and they said not to worry. but I was really worried. it was a very smart way of doing it. but its also not a publicly traded company. the CEO is the owner

    I learn from my mistakes. Be the new guy, start changing things and pissing off established direct reports, and you're usually dead in the water. Get trust, insight, and buy in? You're golden.
     
  5. celery

    celery Senior member

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    Be the new guy, start changing things and pissing off established direct reports, and you're usually dead in the water. Get trust, insight, and buy in? You're golden.

    + a million

    I've seen this many times, new guy comes in, wants to play hot shot and shake everything up, ends up pissing everyone off and is canned.
     
  6. GusW

    GusW Senior member Dubiously Honored

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    I have owned three companies and sold two of them. I think it is not only OK but positive to make changes right away if you are the new owner and as long as it is in your specific area of expertise. I have seen very successful changes made for the better when that was the case.

    What is a mess is when a financial guy comes in and starts telling creative what to do and then you see an exit of talent. Or, a Marketing guy telling finance how to organize. That sort of thing is usually the beginning of the end.

    Any company to grow or remain successful needs to maintain momentum. Anything you do to remove positive "MO" will kill ya. Often, after a sale, you need to show the industry that "things will be as good or better" and that requires a few bold moves in new products or services. You can rarely do that without at least some change.
     
  7. imatlas

    imatlas Senior member

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    + a million

    I've seen this many times, new guy comes in, wants to play hot shot and shake everything up, ends up pissing everyone off and is canned.


    Of course, there are times when this is the intended outcome. Bring in an outsider to make the difficult / unpopular choices, then give him the axe once he's done his job.
     
  8. Piobaire

    Piobaire Senior member

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    Of course, there are times when this is the intended outcome. Bring in an outsider to make the difficult / unpopular choices, then give him the axe once he's done his job.

    We usually call those folks "consultants." [​IMG]
     
  9. Teacher

    Teacher Senior member

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    Agreed. I read a book a while back about a guy (name escapes me) who has a consulting firm that goes in to businesses and makes them run as efficiently as possible. Pretty interesting book; lot of instances where they have fired leeching family members in family-run businesses, and completely crumbled family relationships, but made the company 2x more profitable as a result.

    This is exactly what is happening right now in a small insurance company my dad's insurance company just took over. They went in, investigated (dad investigated all aspects of claims), and decided that if this company simply modernized and cut out all the dead weight (i.e. brothers, cousins, aunts, etc.), it would be greatly profitable.
     
  10. gort

    gort Senior member

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    We usually call those folks "consultants." [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    So what exactly would you say, you do here?[​IMG]
     
  11. imageWIS

    imageWIS Senior member

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    We usually call those folks "consultants." [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    First of all I would make people wholly responsible for their own performance results. I have often seen people pass on responsibility of their lack of results on other people, and successfully get the other person reprimanded or terminated as a result. This usually happens with middle-tier managers who get people they manage terminated, not with same-level employees.

    Secondly, I would seriously review all employees and see how well they are not only performing but can engage in other aspects outside of their direct jobs. For instance, I know that many of 3M's innovations (stickies / post-it note for example) came from personal side projects which the company allows employees to do. Whilst free-form thinking is a great idea, employees should be able to actively take on temporary of permanent challenges as the needs of the company changes.

    Completely revamp the HR structure, from hiring to HR operations to benefits. HR people should only be involved in organizing resumes for the direct manager of the position who will do the hiring (and possibly team hiring process a-la Google; has to be analyzed) and acquiring final information (SS, previous addresses, etc...) once the job offer has been made. Instead of utilizing HR personnel to handle HR issues, hire behavioral psychologists or industrial psychologists.
     
  12. imageWIS

    imageWIS Senior member

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    [​IMG]

    So what exactly would you say, you do here?[​IMG]


    Great movie. But shouldn't he know? After all, he is Marvin the Mindreader. [​IMG]
     
  13. Douglas

    Douglas Senior member

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    I'm with Pio here on the more measured approach. In fact, when I first responded I almost wrote "Just shut the f*ck up."

    I have in reality actually just picked up new board-level responsibilities at work in an entirely different wing of the company - actually it's a different company altogether owned under the common management. So in a way, I have "taken over a new company" to some extent. I am presently sitting in on as many meetings as I can and at the top of each agenda I write a note to myself, in all caps, "SHUT UP." I want to listen and let things play out without throwing my weight around just yet.
     
  14. Piobaire

    Piobaire Senior member

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    [​IMG]

    First of all I would make people wholly responsible for their own performance results. I have often seen people pass on responsibility of their lack of results on other people, and successfully get the other person reprimanded or terminated as a result. This usually happens with middle-tier managers who get people they manage terminated, not with same-level employees.

    Secondly, I would seriously review all employees and see how well they are not only performing but can engage in other aspects outside of their direct jobs. For instance, I know that many of 3M's innovations (stickies / post-it note for example) came from personal side projects which the company allows employees to do. Whilst free-form thinking is a great idea, employees should be able to actively take on temporary of permanent challenges as the needs of the company changes.

    Completely revamp the HR structure, from hiring to HR operations to benefits. HR people should only be involved in organizing resumes for the direct manager of the position who will do the hiring (and possibly team hiring process a-la Google; has to be analyzed) and acquiring final information (SS, previous addresses, etc...) once the job offer has been made. Instead of utilizing HR personnel to handle HR issues, hire behavioral psychologists or industrial psychologists.


    Jon, after reading many of your posts, this just seems to be an agenda to address ways you feel you have been slighted or mistreated in the business world. I would caution you that creating and enacting an agenda based on personal issues is a very good way to failure. I'm not saying some of your ideas are maybe not good or workable, just that they clearly come from a personal agenda of greivances, which is a very dangerous way to form strategy (no matter how personally satisfying and self-validating they might be).

    You paid nothing for that advice/observation so I expect it to be treated accordingly.
     
  15. imageWIS

    imageWIS Senior member

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    Jon, after reading many of your posts, this just seems to be an agenda to address ways you feel you have been slighted or mistreated in the business world. I would caution you that creating and enacting an agenda based on personal issues is a very good way to failure. I'm not saying some of your ideas are maybe not good or workable, just that they clearly come from a personal agenda of greivances, which is a very dangerous way to form strategy (no matter how personally satisfying and self-validating they might be).

    You paid nothing for that advice/observation so I expect it to be treated accordingly.


    As always your assumptions ≠ what I was thinking when I posted what I did. My observations are based on my personal observations at the various companies I have worked at (and most of the occurrences did not happen to me) and management classes, books, videos, etc... You assume that I have been let go because of the reasons I stated. I have never been let go from any position (except for hopefully the current one, fingers crossed).

    When I was responsible for tangible results and managed people, I was held to the performance results required of me. However, many times people find ways to blame others and get off the hook for their responsibilities.

    Regarding HR, while yes I have a personal gripe with the way most companies run their HR (and I have worked for companies that had great HR depts.) departments, I'm by no stretch of the imagination the only one; just see my HR thread, or frankly speak to most people you will meet, regardless of their occupation.

    So when you post "they clearly come from a personal agenda of grievances", you are just assuming and have more of an opaque idea than a clear indication of what you are writing about.
     
  16. Piobaire

    Piobaire Senior member

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  17. imageWIS

    imageWIS Senior member

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    ^ [​IMG]

    Very detailed.
     
  18. Douglas

    Douglas Senior member

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  19. GQgeek

    GQgeek Senior member

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    My first order of business would be to hire a really hot secretary, err, I mean executive "assistant."
     
  20. suited

    suited Senior member

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    Look for processes that can be streamlined to better suit the customer rather than the staff. I've witnessed this first hand in just about every work environment I've ever been in, and the larger the company, the more it becomes integrated to the point that it's almost considered a price of doing business. Inefficiencies get buried into company culture over time - and coming in from the outside you have a unique advantage to spot these weak points more easily (hence the reason for consulting in the first place). Other than that, it's hard to be anymore specific without referring to an actual business.
     

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