I am often asked whether I have experienced calamities in business. I have, and recently suffered another when one of our businesses suffered a catastrophic failure. A remote operation, led by a misguided executive providing disingenuous records shielded by false communication caused the business to run into the ground. By the time the covers were lifted and the reality of the situation was seen it was too late. The business was irreparably damaged with many jobs lost.

The team initially reacted with shock, dismay and disbelief. Emotions were raw and blame was spread liberally around. This anger was therapeutic but not helpful for the long term. To change the mindset and focus on rebuilding we took the following steps:

  • Purge the emotion and guilt. Encourage the team to express their dismay, get it all on the table, de-personalise the situation and identify the lessons.
  • Commit to the rebuild. Reframe the challenge – how can we be even better than we were? Include the whole team. Ensure they know that they are critical to the rebuild.
  • Focus on what is left. Consolidate the best features of the business. Invite the team to be excited about enhancing those features and making them even stronger.
  • Define the rebuild plan. Identify key priorities, invite owners for tasks, set challenging timescales, move quickly with a daily plan of action.
  • Communicate the plan clearly and openly to all stakeholders.
  • Celebrate every single success, retained client, business improvement made.

At the time of writing we are preparing for our relaunch – under recently promoted and inspired leadership. We have processes in place to make sure we won’t make the same mistakes again. The goodwill and support from our clients is tangible. The excitement in the team is amazing.

We have a long way to go to meet our own expectations but we have started the next stage of our journey. We have captured the energy released by near disaster and focused it onto a route map. The future is simply a mountain of opportunity. I am totally confident that the team at www.delvv.io will make it to the summit.