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Dec 2, 201411:02 AMMad @ Mgmt

with Walter Simson

What CNBC’s ‘The Profit’ gets wrong

(page 2 of 2)

Perhaps his approach is rational in a model where he is investing in the failing businesses. The conflict and drama elements not only help TV ratings, they also set the former owners back. That robs them of confidence so that the new owner can do what he wants. Maybe it even fatigues them so they leave the business in the new guy’s hands, allowing him to do what he wants and staff the business with low-cost personnel.

I get that. Because my model is to help companies get back on their feet without causing additional emotional distress, I have a different style. For example, it is often better to ask “we” questions. Like, what if we promoted profitable product A rather than fancy but not-so-profitable product B?

What if we need more sales strength in one area of the country rather than another?

What if we buy components on the outside instead of making them inside?

By asking questions, you bring out the expertise of the participants. It becomes a matter of taking their specialized knowledge and leveraging it against the broader problems that need focus.

Using the word “we” reinforces that it is a team effort between the company and its outside consultant. And within the company, between the various factions that have been fighting over the dying carcass.

The word “I” reinforces the factionalism — “I’m right and you’re wrong” — of the past. Believe me, too much of that and the company goes nowhere.

So “I” works from a reality TV perspective. Lots of conflict and drama. But in the real world, I would take The Profit to the “I” doctor.

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