Corporate Renewal, Turnaround and Restructuring
All trades get their time in the sun - sooner or later. Given the state of the economy in Europe, the above services are a high-growth industry.
There may be a handful of firms globally with a focus and specialization in fixing companies or, at the other extreme, in preventing involuntary liquidation. I am sure they have their hands full. Even more important, their services will be in demand for a long time to come (see Comment Article)
Being by nature highly adaptive "animals", Consultants of all descriptions will certainly jump on the bandwagon. So, caution is needed, as this is not a job that can be handled by anybody.
Whether you call it "Corporate Renewal" or "Turnaround" or "Restructuring" it is a multi-functional, multi- dimensional task. It's not just about cost-cutting, or re-positioning or recapitalizing, or core business focus, or any other buzzword. There are no quick fixes, no off-the-shelf remedies.
A business in trouble needs a holistic approach and -more often than not - radical measures. You have to get to the root of the problem, not just treat the symptoms.
So, you have to engage a team of carefully chosen experts, delegate some power to them and give them time - months not weeks! Which is why the initiative is usually taken by Investors or passive Shareholders, not Management (after all, very few CEOs will admit that they need help!). Ideally though, the mandate should come from all stakeholders which could include suppliers, creditors and Banks, depending on how close to insolvency you are.
It's also expensive - just like a trauma clinic or intensive care unit .... but then again, nobody really wants to die, right?
What we Can Do:
We probably have more experience in turnarounds than most people who claim to be "experts". Even so, it would be irresponsible on our part to undertake a turnaround project on our own. What we can do, is work as part of a team of advisors which will diagnose the situation, assess all options, win consensus for a plan of action and then execute the turnaround.
Our main role in such a project would be to consider viable re-capitalization options, a merger with a healthy company or an outright sale of the business (or its assets). At a minimum, the project team should also include an industry veteran with deep, hands-on domain expertise and a management consultant with a proven track record in planning and executing turnarounds.