The Seven C’s explained – and we’re not talking supplements

Business turnaround

Anyone who knows me well will know exactly what I mean when I mention the Seven C’s in relation to business turnaround. It’s a tried and tested theory and one that has been a fundamental kingpin in my approach to culture change.

So, I thought it would be a great one to share here in the hope it may be useful to business leaders who are interested in culture change techniques and tactics.

Commitment – gain the commitment of the staff. This can be done by gaining their trust and making small changes that will make their lives better in the initial stages of a business turnaround. Tactics used to garner commitment include gaining some quick wins by providing solutions to issues that affect staff on a daily basis, which will encourage them to have faith in you (and therefore lead to commitment) and being open and honest with them from the outset.

Competence – once the staff are committed, empower them and give them responsibilities which will improve their competence levels. Taking out hierarchy and letting staff make decisions will give them a completely different outlook in their role.

Confidence – it goes without saying that the more competent a person becomes, the more their confidence grows as the two feed off each other nicely.

Courage – a confident employee will become more courageous; whether in terms of making business decision, or tackling issues within the business that they haven’t felt comfortable or compelled to do before. This is exactly what is needed to take them, and the business, to the next level, to….

Challenge – this is the key. Once an employee feels competent, confidence and courageous enough to challenge the status quo, that is really where things can start to move in the right direction. A workforce that is willing to challenge is one that will help in driving the business forward.

– this is exactly what, in an ailing business, will have been quashed from on high. Bringing this back to the fore will be instrumental in affecting what is the ultimate end goal….



This has been my mantra in many business turnaround situations and really has been a fail-safe guide. Taking a business from loss-making to profit generating is a great feeling, but it can’t be done alone as a one-man battle. Affecting the change is a hard slog but sticking to the rules and not wavering is vital. I hope the Seven C’s can help someone else in their mission.