A fundamental activity for senior leaders and Boards is turning around at-risk or under-performing business units.

Whether through acquisition or the need to achieve organic growth, sooner or later, every board member (that operates social enterprises) will be faced with the sometimes daunting task of turning around a business.

How do you go about it?

Of course, the unique particulars of the business will govern the approach – but in general, the activity needs to be disciplined: number focused, and people-flavoured.  The turned-around business either stands on its own, or it doesn’t (keeping personalities out it at this early stage can be most helpful).

Tactically, the approach will follow the 4 step process in the worksheet below (run your numbers!), and involves getting clarity on your current situation (step 1), defining the to-be business (step 2), reflecting-on, and prioritizing the key activities to be achieved (step 3), and assessing the do-ability of turning around performance in the key dimensions identified (step 4).