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Make It Quick

No matter how big the change, overnight is the best pace for your overhaul.

This story appears in the June 2002 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

If you're thinking about making a major change, stop thinking and start changing. That's the message of Bain & Co. consultant Stan Pace, who says most company change programs are too slow. Cautiously changing step-by-step flattens revenues, eats profits and can lead to business failure, says Pace, likening fast change to "ripping the Band-Aid off quickly."

Pace, who directs Bain's Dallas office, performed a study of 21 mostly midsized companies that have seen big gains from major transformations-increases in company values averaged 250 percent per year after the changes. Speedy change was one trait they shared. Pace says, it's what separates them from less successful cases such as Polaroid Corp., which is in Chapter 11, and Xerox Corp., which lost market share, sold assets and laid off employees as it struggled with technological and market changes. Sweeping overhauls have stretched on for several years in both these household names.

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