This series on business euthanization was originally inspired by two colleagues who as CEOs of two separate non-profits, had the courage to close them down. Both happened independently of each other, one in Melbourne and one in Sydney, and for different reasons.
The first case came about through a realisation that the purpose of the organisation, while noble, was not making the impact it set out to achieve. It had been working project to project and producing fine work. There were by all reports wonderful achievements, and a lot of goodwill surrounding this organisation. Despite that, when impact is the main game and resourcing that is essential, there comes a time when one wonders whether something else could be done with those same resources to achieve impact (and resources mean more than money here).
The decision was perhaps a surprise to some stakeholders. Why close a business that essentially is doing some good? If it was a commercial business, there would have been little evidence to close it. In fact if profit was the main game, this business could potentially have moved into markets that exploited staff capabilities and maximized return. But this was not a commercial organisation, and the drivers were elsewhere. The people wanted to make an impact.
The second case was in many ways more surprising. It was a market leader in its industry or target group. They had been around for a long time, Read more
You may have read my advertisement for BESi – Business Euthanization Services Inc. This was inspired by a bunch of conversations and real life stories around the ethics of business closure. To celebrate the pending end of the world, over the next couple of weeks I want to explore and write about some of the dimensions of business closure – market changes, leadership, decision making, courage and more.
I want to put attention on both the non-profit space, and also big business. For me this is new territory, as I have not found existing services or writing on this very important part of the business life cycle (well at least not in the conscious or planned sense).
My choice of using euthanization is important too, and I will write about why I have referred to this as business euthanization and not business murder or business genocide.
I would love to hear your comments over the coming couple of weeks as I explore this topic. Perhaps you could point me to existing writing, or case studies where you have seen either ethical or unethical approaches to business closure.
If you are new to this blog, feel free to sign up to receive updates. In the meantime, take care of your good selves. Enjoy Earth!
Here are the full series of posts:
Euthanize Your Business Today!
Courage to Close: Two nonprofits take their next step
Do you get your market’s vote?
Business hospice and euthanization: what the…?
Closing shop: how do you know it’s time?
Are you concerned that your business or non-profit is not having the impact it intended?
Do you worry about forced closure and the ethical impacts it might have?
Has your market shifted so dramatically that your business is irretrievable?
Are you seeking an exit strategy that provides dignity and respect to all your stakeholders?
These are some of the many questions that business people and non-profit leaders ask when they come to Business Euthanization Services Inc (BESi) for advice. Over the past decade, we have seen dramatic shifts in markets and a sharp rise in the number of businesses forced to close. So often the final years and months of a business’s life is riddled with pain, stress and significant negative impact on its stakeholders.
Our research has shown that this was not due to poor intention on behalf of the business owner. So often business owners end up feeling shame and regret from the impacts of closure. At BESi we know that this can all be avoided through thorough prior planning and conscious leadership. This is what we like to call: conscious closure.
BESi was founded in 2012 to help business owners and leaders approach the matter of business closure in a way that brings dignity, compassion and respect to all people involved. BESi has a generous and wise team of associates who are able to support you and your closure needs in a way that honors your highest ethical intentions. Our services include: Read more