In “The Long Game,” author Rod Moore’s goal was to differentiate his book from others who “rescue” companies and write about it. I asked him what were the most important aspects of his methods to convey to readers?
When I decided to begin turning companies around, I decided to start by reading how other people had done it and learn from them. I could then grow and develop a style which was proven and had worked for others. What I found was the books were all theory and you had to figure out how to apply the theories to the job you would be working on. They might tell you to review the P&L for ways to cut costs, reduce labor, increase prices, or some other way to improve the profitability in the company. So, you’ve spent $20 on a book to learn the obvious? They want you to raise prices which will price you out of the market?
Companies are not made of spreadsheets nor did they fall apart all at once. They consist of people and notably, began the long road downhill years before you ever came long. I spend a great deal of time in the book discussing departments and the people who run them. What are they doing, why didn’t they discover issues long before you arrived, and most importantly, are they part of the solution or part of the problem? You can change everything you want in a company, but until you deal with the people side of the equation you will never turn the company around. Better said, you might turn things around for a short period of time, but you will not make the company profitable for the long term.
This does not mean that you arbitrarily fire people; what it means is you need to determine who are the right people to terminate.
I review this in a simple way, using my own life examples to make it easier for the reader to understand how this can be applied to the situation they are presently in. I wrote the book in such a way that people feel I am walking the shop floor with them and giving them real-time suggestions as we turn over each rock together.