It is offensive and insulting to customers to advertise a product that they know is crummy.
They got us into this hole, the thinking goes, how are they going to have the sense to get us out of it? With Gordon Bethune, Continental's chairman and CEO, Brenneman devised the Go Forward Plan, a straightforward strategy focused on four key elements: understanding the market, increasing revenues, improving the product, and transforming the corporate culture.
In a turnaround situation, people are tense and suspicious for good reason.
To implement the plan immediately and in its entirety, we sold it to our coworkers with energetic zeal. Break the doom loop by apologizing for your mistakes and focus on delivering a better product.
Now, strategic direction is always important, but I would make the case that it is particularly important during a turnaround. He wanted to meet for breakfast the next morning, and I quickly agreed. We learned that in one of the early cost-reduction programs, management had decided to clean the airplanes less frequently and to have the pilots clean their own cockpits.
There is a huge gap between what customers want and what they are willing to pay for.File Your Flight Plan and Track Your Progress The foundation of any successfully run business is a strategy everyone understands coupled with a few key measures that are routinely tracked. We went to work at full speed. Break the doom loop by apologizing for your mistakes and focus on delivering a better product. Closing Greensboro was one of the toughest days of my life. You will see the word we a lot as you read this article. In a turnaround situation, people are tense and suspicious for good reason. The economy could have been in a downswing. Ask the customer in seat 9C the right question. Finally, each corporate officer is assigned a city on the system. Within months, we were regularly finishing first. Email Gordon Bethune is a character. Continental ranked tenth out of the ten largest U.
To monitor our performance in the marketplace, we decided to track our monthly load factor, revenue per available seat mile, and quarterly cost and profit margins.
The third step in breaking the doom loop was to cut our advertising budget in half.Continental lived up—or perhaps I should say down—to my expectations that day in May. In any case, it was a secure, frequent, respectful voicemail to employees. To make a long story short—and it was a long day—Bain got the job. They created a model that works when you have little time and less money—as well as when you have more of both. I mean, no one had a clue. Second, they had to be driven to get things done. Make sure you know the difference. They picture productivity plummeting, and profits along with it. We needed to create an atmosphere where people liked coming to work. Share to twitter Share to linkedin Gordon Bethune is a character. We also immediately started fixing our idiotic food policy. We promised them full control of their domains.
I truly believed the men and women of Continental could make the airline great again.