Six “Don’ts” for Turnarounds in Asia

Turnarounds are intense forms of management practice. The demands on time and energy are magnified and often unrealistic. Every turnaround is different, so getting a grip on a troubled company or corporate division can be challenging. But after long years of practice I can at least offer some advice on what you shouldn’t do in an Asian turnaround. Don’t accept a turnaround assignment without thorough consideration, even when the assignment is introduced by people close to you, especially if they are associated - in any way - with the target company. In every turnaround your integrity is challenged. Be aware of people who ask you to look the other way, or not make a fuss about suspect numbers, inter-company loans or operations issues. Otherwise you might lose a friend, your integrity, or both. Don’t accept the first reason offered for any business problem or personnel issue. Troubled organizations may have many problems in their normal operating milieu, but the management might refuse to truly and fully explain these problems to you. My standard operating procedure is to be quiet and listen. In any Asian turnaround you need observe and listen to explanations from everyone in the organization. Often you will find the best explanations from the least likely people, often younger, lower level finance and operating managers who are really familiar with the daily operations of the company. Click here for more.