• Sam Decker

Cookbook for a Business Recovery

There's a revenue crisis. You need to do a business recovery. There are three choices:

1. Do nothing…i.e. keep on trucking, status quo. Keep the vision, things will get better, right? 2. Do something…i.e. pick something, likely without analysis, to do about it. Or put a plan together and and warm yourself with that blanket of paper. 3. Do everything….focus the entire business on the problem, analyze all potential root causes of the miss, choose a number of impactful activities across teams and drive them to conclusion.


In startups we either do nothing — because we had ‘vision’ or lacked metrics, or both. Or we did ‘something’ which was the best sounding idea…again, still lacking metrics for proper root cause analysis.


Choice #3 might not sound appealing at first, but the key difference in #3 is culture and measurement. The culture of a company that does #3 is urgency and execution, and they have the metrics to understand the problem.


A good recovery execution attacks the problem from multiple angles. Sometimes it can be chaotic, like stepping on an anthill. But I’ll take energy and execution over perfect planning any day.


Here are the 10 ingredients for successful recovery execution (not just a plan):

1. Get the right people together 2. Have a strong facilitator who owns the plan 3. Analyze root causes 4. Choose the levers that need to move to move the business 5. Identify what every and any team can do to drive those levers. 6. Focus them on these activities. Assert timelines and results for all initiatives 7. Report back soon on status and progress. 8. Have senior management present for accountability, if necessary. 9. Repeat until sufficient progress / trajectory is achieved. 10. Take a day off. You deserve it.