Bjorn Dybdahl Responds
I take particular offense to your comment about the "install guys who stayed" that "just weren't good enough." Again, and you do actually know the situation, our best installers did stay with us and weathered the disruption. To infer that they weren't offered positions with a new startup due to their lack of abilities is a slam against those who had the foresight to know where their opportunities for growth and stability really existed. Due to the dedication of those that didn't jump ship, our installation business actually grew during this period of turmoil.
Lastly, your inference that we hired managers as a generic fix in lieu of a strategy is completely off the mark. We promoted three of our existing employees initially and then later chose one of them to actually run the division. Developing the managers was an integral part of our strategy and has allowed us to continue to grow our installation department to keep up with demand. Throwing people at positions without a plan is nothing more than a dilution of the bottom line and poor management. While the disruption caused us to move a little faster than our plan had originally called for, we were already budgeting for more people, and working on organizational issues to make room for the departmental growth.
Interestingly enough, the startup venture that originally created our situation has now, a year later, all but dissolved, leaving all of the people who left our company, thinking that they were going to be part of the "next big thing," now looking for work, with some trying to return to our organization.
Regardless of the interpretation of my original article, the bottom line really is quite simple. Stay involved in all aspects of your business and always be thinking about the "what-ifs" that may occur, because sooner or later, those "what-ifs" can become reality. Having a plan to deal with them will make any transition much less painful and much more productive.