Is your company or your client’s company going through growth pangs? Is leadership struggling with larger issues that they don’t have adequate time to address, worried about likely complications that are not yet investigated, or being frustrated by small issues that seem to go unresolved?
Based upon our lessons learned from being a top exec, a consultant at two of the best consulting firms (PwC and AlixPartners) and from working at successful household name businesses over a 40-year career, we believe that there are tremendous advantages in getting an outside expert to assess your opportunities–bringing to the table both a sense of urgency and an unbiased perspective. Using this approach, we have driven multi-billion dollar issues, small family businesses, nonprofits and have even led the turnaround of a city of 66,000 people. We have generated benefits in excess of hundreds of millions of dollars when working as team members with the client’s staff and their other professionals.
We have found that the best possible decisions will be made after being able to answer questions such as the following:
1. Could cash flow still be adequate under realistic circumstances but woefully inadequate if even a few contingencies come true?
2. Are each of the managers fully confident that they have verified the key assumptions and are they ready to be held accountable for either success or failure?
3. Are mid-level managers already operating as if they are overwhelmed and without a sense of urgency and commitment? If so, how can this be corrected right away?
6. Is there a spirit of teamwork throughout the organization where everyone is pulling together in the same direction or is there a culture of individuals or groups stepping on others to go up the corporate ladder?
7. Will succession issues, family rivalries or management infighting make success more difficult?
8. Do the budget, the strategic plan and the financial projection tie together to enable success?
We have found that answering these questions could double net cash flow, identify upsides, examine risks, generate reliable information, and build solid teamwork. In the meantime, the best outside experts will identify cash leaks and unrealistic budgets, find overhead imbalances and capacity constraints, and point out the most urgent action steps required.
The best experts should work cooperatively with management and other professionals in a proactive manner to operate as a highly-effective team. Under the client’s direction, this process often can work to break a logjam and be a catalyst for many positive changes. The time to start the process is now.