Lessons from the Turnaround Trenches: How we Navigated Past Bankruptcy Protection, Reimagined Guestlogix and Saved our Brand

Navigating the turnaround at Guestlogix
  • We wanted to meet with 16 airlines in that timeframe — we met with 38.
  • We hit the minimal viable category milestone in less than 60 days
  • We landed on an innovative, success-based pricing model
  • We wanted to create $2M sales pipeline going into 2019 — we created over $20M.
  1. While a pivot is hard, a turnaround is next level shit. After a few startups, a pivot becomes second nature. In a turnaround (at least in this one), pivots or course corrections aren’t going to cut it. It requires disruption-level change and innovation.
  2. The drive-by advice you’re going to get will piss you off. Well-meaning people who lack context about your business will be quick to tell you what you need to do. At best they’ll be partially right; usually they are flat out wrong. Search out mentors/coaches who ask you a ton of what will often be uncomfortable questions and err on the side of oversharing with them.
  3. You are going to need a senior team around you sooner than you think and that needs to be made of people passionate about the vision, thrive on challenges, don’t shy away from looking under every rock, are comfortable having tough conversations and have a thick skin. But it doesn’t end there, you also need you to identify the amplifiers in your organization and get their buy-in. Only then do you have sufficient critical mass to begin to move the engagement needle.
  4. It will feel like no good deed goes unpunished for quite a while. Instead of high fives when you institute things like full transparency you will be greeted with “what are they hiding” or even a surprise or resignation. You have to remember that the team has been through the wringer and are change weary so just stay the course and keep the “good deeds” coming.
  5. Transparency, context, and alignment… lather, rinse, repeat. Things took much much longer to take hold organizationally than you expect sharing openly and giving everyone context became my mantra.
  6. Even after rocky times, existing customers will be your champions if you are transparent and solicit their help. If your focus is on delivering value and solving their pain, it is in their interest to see you succeed. Plus, everyone loves a comeback story so allow those customers to take a starring role.



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Robin Hopper

Robin Hopper

CEO GuestLogix. Past: SVP Product, Intelex, EIR Innovation Factory, Founder & CEO, Awareness, recovering entrepreneur, investor…