How Small Companies Get in Trouble

Source: The New York Times
Date: 03/30/2011
Author: Barbara Taylor


Most of us have an image of the turnaround guy. For some, the term can conjure up images of an unfeeling taskmaster, exemplified by Albert Dunlap, known as Chainsaw Al, who applied his famously ruthless methods to companies like Scott Paper and Sunbeam in the 1990s. Recently, however, I had the good fortune to meet not one but two men who put to rest my stereotype of the turnaround guy as Rambo in pinstripes.

John Newman recently retired from turnaround work after 15 successful engagements. His efforts took him across the country, where his clients ranged from closely held businesses to some of the largest agricultural cooperatives in the United States. Lynn Hartrick has been helping midmarket business owners with turnarounds, transitions and liquidity events for 14 years. Both men have many of the same outward qualities, including impeccable listening skills and a genuine desire to fix broken companies. I asked them about the work they do and what advice they have for small-business owners.

Read the candid Q&A with John >

JRI Consulting, LLC