How Best Buy’s CEO Managed a Corporate Turnaround

Facing customer dissatisfaction and increasing competition from sites like Amazon, Best Buy was declining fast. In September 2012, Hubert Joly, Best Buy’s current CEO, came to the rescue by creating a framework for managing a successful corporate turnaround. His transformational leadership helped Best Buy return 154% in the last three years. Here are seven of his rules for turning around a company.

Seven Rules for Leading Organizational Change

  1. Challenge employees to step up. Don’t get caught up on high-level strategy; instead, task employees with making small improvements.
  2. Improve profits without cutting jobs. Before resorting to layoffs, cut non-salary expenses; eliminate luxury perks; or choose more economical insurance plans.
  3. Encourage faster decision making. Start accomplishing transformation by not obsessing over making the “right” decision.
  4. Embrace the power of “and.” For example, you can cut costs AND increase revenue. Employees will be more efficient if they’re going for both.
  5. Stay positive. “You need to have a spring in your step, you need to be full of energy and lift. You need to have people believe,” Joly says.
  6. Hold workers accountable. Expect your employees to follow through on everything they say they will.
  7. Spread bad news faster than good news. If something goes wrong during your fast-paced transformation and word gets out, quickly follow up with a viable solution.

Takeaway: Best Buy's turnaround emphasizes the importance of staying positive and encouraging employees to get the momentum going: start first, obsess over strategy later.

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