Magazine article Black Enterprise

The Outcome of an Organization Overhaul: Aftershocks Can Make or Break a Business's Success

Magazine article Black Enterprise

The Outcome of an Organization Overhaul: Aftershocks Can Make or Break a Business's Success

Article excerpt

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SAVVY BUSINESS OWNERS UNDERSTAND CHANGE IS necessary and sometimes drastic measures are needed to ensure the success of the organization. This requires buy-in from everyone--the CEO to the rank-and-file. In this final installment of our series we explore how to manage change as well as what strategies can help employees get on board faster.

Robert Smith never ran from change. In fact, the president of Champion Media Worldwide, a Loves Park, Illinois-based Internet marketing and communications firm, transformed his company from the top down two years ago.

"I started out as a general practice firm doing everything for everybody," says Smith. "But that business model started to dry up." And he had the numbers to prove it. "When your revenues go from $100,000 to $20,000 three months in a row, you know what you are doing isn't as effective as it used to be." So Smith focused on a niche, going after clients in healing professions such as psychologists, chiropractors, and marriage counselors since he could focus on the same key contacts and strategies to help market them. In the process, his firm dropped from 18 employees to 11 as Smith eliminated the least-productive workers.

Throughout the whirlwind of change, Smith says he met some initial resistance. "I understand human behavior, we don't like change," says the 3 6-year-old boss. "But tough decisions have to be made and you're not always going to be the most popular guy in the office. "To smooth ruffled feathers, Smith started holding weekly meetings where he would update his staff on the changes taking place. He tried to give them a few weeks to prepare for major transitions, like reporting to a new manager. He also gave employees time to make mistakes as they adjusted.

What Smith realized through the process is the more you help employees embrace the changes and learn to work within the new requirements, the more likely the change will be effective since "your 'human' capital has a direct impact on your 'financial' capital," says Arrelle Anderson, chief business strategist for Washington, D. …

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