Corporate turnaround specialist Harry Wilson discussed his experience leading several high-profile company restructurings, including General Motors, at a lecture given Oct. 14 at Daemen College.
At the Distinguished Leaders Lecture Series event, Wilson described the strategy behind the complex process of restructuring a failing or struggling corporation and bringing it to a successful resolution. He outlined several areas that are key to turning around a company, including establishing the right and clear goals, the importance of a company being agile and ready for change, leadership accountability, and giving employees an optimistic outlook.
“For a company turnaround to be successful, it is vital to create a pathway for employees that will give them hope and let them know that there is light at the end of the tunnel,” said Wilson, founder and CEO of MAEVA Group, LLC. “Companies must be agile and ready for change while also keeping employees motivated and focused on the company’s situation getting better.”
Wilson played a senior role on the U.S. Auto Task Force, where he oversaw the restructuring of General Motors, the largest successful industrial turnaround in American history. He talked about the complex issues related to this remarkable turnaround and keeping it on track financially.
“The turnaround for General Motors was significant to the U.S. auto industry, and our role on the task force was to get the company back to using basic principles and having a portfolio that would make them successful again,” said Wilson. “Being on the task force was one of the most fulfilling experiences of my professional career, and I was proud to be a part of efforts that enabled GM to save a million jobs in six months.”