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Make It Quick

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

By Mark Henricks • May 5, 2006 Originally published Jun 6, 2002

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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

Pace, who directs Bain's Dallas office, performed a study of21 mostly midsized companies that have seen big gains from majortransformations-increases in company values averaged 250 percentper year after the changes. Speedy change was one trait theyshared. Pace says, it's what separates them from lesssuccessful cases such as Polaroid Corp., which is in Chapter 11,and Xerox Corp., which lost market share, sold assets and laid offemployees as it struggled with technological and market changes.Sweeping overhauls have stretched on for several years in boththese household names.

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