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Don’t let your business drown in bureaucracy

Even small companies may suffer from inefficient processes and counter-productive operations. Assemble a team to turn things around.

One of the great analogies told about small business is a comparison to big business. When a big business wants to change course its like turning an aircraft carrier, whereas changing course in a small business is like turning a PT boat.

Early in my carrier I observed an opportunity. It was an under-performing business unit. The potential of the business unit was clear but there were problems both in execution as well as systemic issues put in place that were a hindrance to performance. I took the opportunity to speak with my boss, then together with his boss and asked if I could form a “Special Operations” team to work on the problem. To my surprise I was given permission.

I met with the manager of that business unit and offered my assistance. I already had the permission from the president, but I wanted buy-in. He welcomed the opportunity. We assembled a cross functional team from the business unit as well as our corporate office. I presented the obvious problems and what our ultimate goal was. We were in fact a skunk-work operation. We had no budget so whatever we did had to be self-funded by the unit. We met weekly and each person had aspects of the business to analyze and then we reserved time to brainstorm on solutions as we developed our plan. It was like triage at first. Stop the bleeding, stabilize the unit, then begin recovery.

…to read this article in full, visit leading US small business resource, Inc.

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