Thursday, December 29, 2011

Fred Leeb: Detroit's Old Games Are Over

Fred Leeb: Detroit's Old Games Are Over

Detroit Has "Hit the Wall"
Those of us in the turnaround world have been waiting for decades for the City of Detroit to be in its current dismal financial condition with no easy way out. This is called "hitting the wall" when there is no cash available any longer to continue business as usual. We have been waiting for this because it is finally the time when people must step up and take positive actions -- there are no alternatives. When you are about to hit the wall, the old games are over. People are not impressed any longer with:

• Speeches full of promises,
• Macho tough-guy tactics,
• Elaborate analytical studies,
• Infinite variations of blaming others,
• Fancy job titles and sound bites from celebrities, or
• Refusing to compromise and being negative without proposing workable solutions.

Leaders must make drastic cuts in costs now but they also must develop and implement new far-reaching but practical strategies. They must take the personal risks necessary to take action or they must get out of the way. Turnaround professionals know this is the most critical and precious time to bring forward new ideas, settle on new short and long term strategies, organize teams, and implement change. A tremendous amount can be accomplished when all the stakeholders finally recognize that they are in the same boat, that the boat is in a severe storm, and that they all most row in the same direction if they are to have any chance of success in saving themselves.

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