Magazine article The CPA Journal

The Six-Month Fix

Magazine article The CPA Journal

The Six-Month Fix

Article excerpt

TIME SIX-MONTH SIX By Gary Sutton (John P. Wiley & Sons, 2001; $27.95; ISBN: 0471036269; 256pp.)

Although the author lacks an overall conceptual framework for approaching the turnaround process, The Six-Month Fix will be interesting and helpful for its target audience: CEOs of troubled companies. Once you get past Sutton's self-promotion and accept how he skips from point to point, the book provides many useful insights.

The book is divided into 69 chapters: 14 for companies hemorrhaging cash, 52 for companies drifting toward problems, plus an introduction, a checklist, and a review of the author's background. As in a real turnaround, Sutton preaches there is no right or wrong, only the need to start. His 31-item checklist in the back of the book is a useful starter, but ignoring the remainder of the book is a mistake because it presents some real gems.

Sutton concentrates on operations, emphasizing customers, sales, and reducing costs while improving quality. Although several examples aren't highly relevant, all of them are useful. The CEO of a troubled company may want to focus first and foremost on the chapters clearly identified in bold in the table of contents:

* First, Stop the Bleeding

* Turnaround Scams and Screw-ups

* Over and Over and Over and Over Again, the

Same Mistakes

* Cinderellas

* Second Options

* Contracts Are Sales literature

* What's Your Business? …

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