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5 Things You Can Learn from RTE’s The Takeover

Business people discussing projectI’ve enjoyed watching the recent RTE series of the takeover, if you aren’t familiar with it then the format is that for a business which is struggling the owner hands over the running of the business for two weeks to the staff. The staff are given a budget and then under the watchful eye of businesswoman Nora Casey they have to come up with ideas of how they will improve the business and bring in extra revenue for the future.

In typical reality TV fashion the employees get to gripe about their boss and then they realise that running a business isn’t as easy as they thought. They are then shown making their changes and invariably the big question of will it work out is hanging in the air. Then at the 11th hour everything comes together and the employees have some success. The stern faced business owner is then brought back in for general back slapping and hugs with their newly energized staff.

I always like to see the quick synopsis at the end which says how the business is faring after the takeover and invariably sales are up and employees are more motivated.

So apart from being entertaining what as a business owner can you learn from watching the takeover? Here is a list of 5 key takeaways that I identified:

Stepping away from the business to brainstorm ideas

One of the first things that happens after the staff takeover is that they go to a local hotel or meeting room away from the business and are encouraged to be open about what is not working in the business and to then brainstorm ideas of what can be changed. This is very powerful, often business owners are so close to the coal face of their businesses each day that they don’t see the wood for the trees. Taking a break or a holiday can often be a great source of inspiration. So can going for a walk or run and clearing the head and allowing ideas to flourish.

Take input from those in other roles in the business

Business owners often have big egos and believe that they know best, however as the Takeover shows us often an employee working away in the business can have a new idea or perspective. It is therefore of great benefit to solicit ideas from staff. I remember reading about Julian Richer of Richer Sounds who is a master at doing this rewarding staff with recognition, bonuses and prizes like getting to drive a luxury car for a month, in return for profitable ideas on developing the business.

Having a clear goal/plan and focus

 Another reason why the takeover is successful is that the staff have to identify 3 goals that they will implement and these are then focused on for the 2 week period. This I believe is one of the key factors. All too often when we meet business owners they have no marketing or growth plan that they are focused on and they are just turning up each day to fight fires and get stuff done in an ad hoc way. Growth comes with identifying clear goals and pig headedly focusing on them until they are complete.

Having a tight timeline

In the show the employees have just 2 weeks to make their changes and put them to the test. This brings a sense of urgency to the process and importantly gets it done. How often have you had a tight client deadline which seemed impossible but with focus and determination you have been able to get it done. Setting deadlines is one of the most important things you can do to get maximum productivity. For example we send a fortnightly newsletter this forces us to create content and get it finished by a set date. Without this enforced deadline things would slide.

Taking input from external advisors

Let us not forget that whilst the employees in the Takeover are doing the work and coming up with the ideas this is happening under the watchful eye of Nora Casey. External advisors can be worth their weight in gold knowing from their experience what does and doesn’t work and fast tracking a lot of trial and error.

So there we have it, some food for thought, and you thought you were just watching some light entertainment! Here at Better Business Results we can help you get the benefits of your own Takeover by reviewing your business from a fresh perspective and developing and implementing a plan for growth.

Call us today on 01 4880985 in Ireland and on 020 8242 4045 in the UK to see how we can help you.

2 Responses to 5 Things You Can Learn from RTE’s The Takeover

  1. Excellent article and accurate observations Matt!
    i like it……..alot!

  2. Matt Eve says:

    Thanks for the feedback Charlie – I’m glad you found it useful. I hope all is good with you.


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