It can be tough to know what steps to take to bring a struggling organization back from the brink. Implementing a holistic approach is essential to revitalizing a distressed company and getting back to business. This five-step formula has proven successful for turning around numerous distressed organizations in a variety of industries.

1. Focus on What Works

What you focus on, grows. When a company is struggling, it can be tempting to focus on the negatives, engage in blame and try to eliminate what doesn’t work. While that is an important component of a company turnaround, it is just as essential, if not more, to identify and expand on the areas that are working. It is seeing the glass half full, in any aspect, that brings people together, allowing them to align around a common goal. 

2. Create Positive Momentum

Upward and onward. Intercepting negative culture, cultivating small wins and celebrating them consistently will go a long way in creating positive momentum. Positivity is essential in the process of turning around any organization. Positive attitude and actions create a domino effect, compounding on one another to create major change. Disengaging from any negative talk is important to turning around a company.

3. People, People, People

The heart and soul of any organization is made up of its people. Focusing on the people who are making positive impacts within the company is important in turnaround situations. Engaging change agents within the existing team and creating a team that feed off each other’s desired outcomes is essential to creating alignment, positive momentum and spirit.

4. Align Intentions, Choices and Actions

When our intentions, choices and actions align, both at the individual and organizational level, it leads to clarity, flow, harmony and less resistance. It allows for prosperity, satisfaction and growth. Organizations that ended up in a distressed situation was misaligned on these three critical elements.

5. Be Open and Listen

The answers and solutions being searched for are typically within clear view. When a safe space is created for people to truly express themselves and for others to listen and be open to new possibilities, people gain the clarity of mind needed to move the organization in the right direction.


Amir Glogau is the founder and managing partner of Citrine Holdings. He is an international turnaround expert known for transforming distressed companies through his proprietary method, SOULeadership.