How to Turn around a Business without Everyone Hating You

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

—Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

Here is a typical scenario: company struggles; company announces job cuts, layoffs, restructuring; Wall Street applauds; share price goes up as thousands of employees go out the door. We have seen this movie before and heard its soundtrack of fear, anger, and disbelief. Plus, this movie often has sequels, with multiple rounds of restructuring. Turnarounds have come to be viewed as a kind of blood sport, a race to the bottom, a vicious slashing of headcount, spending, and customer service.

How can this make any sense?

In my view, putting purpose and people at the heart of business, and the ...

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