CINCINNATI, OH--(Marketwire - Nov 21, 2011) - Instead of cutting costs by laying off workers and targeting departments, floundering and stagnant businesses should adopt a complete turnaround mindset, writes Mark Faust, certified professional management consultant and adjunct business professor, in his new book, "Growth or Bust! Proven Turnaround Strategies to Grow Your Business" (

Most businesses can accelerate growth through innovation rather than piecemeal cost-cutting, and taking a holistic approach to improvement, Faust writes. The former invites pushback from employees; the latter encourages involvement and investment.

The driving force that will turn around a company is innovation -- instituting change that creates a new dimension of performance. To create that culture, Faust offers strategies that he says consistently have a significant impact on his client companies:

Prioritize from the top down. The firm's top leadership must consistently and publicly communicate a firm commitment to innovation as a top priority.

Clarify your innovation values. Values that foster innovation include safety in communication (employees must feel free to suggest areas that need improvement) and humility (it requires everyone to admit that others may have better answers).

Get all hands on deck. Every employee should be exposed to a few areas of the business to consider changes for improvement. All employees should be required to submit a minimum number of ideas for improvement.

Initially, focus on quantity vs. quality. Focus on generating many ideas at first. Research shows that a quantity of ideas begets better-quality ideas in the end.

Consistently communicate implementation and success. Employees must get regular feedback on how their ideas and everyone's participation is improving their business, with as many specific reports of improvement as possible.

Give specific and universal rewards. At first, reward individuals whose ideas have an impact on profits. As employees begin working as an innovation team, rewards should be shared among team members.

Make innovation a continuous process. It takes work on the part of management, but innovation efforts rallied in spurts will become just another "flavor of the day" to employees, who will stop buying in.

About Mark Faust

Since 1990, Mark Faust has run Echelon Management, a growth and turnaround consultancy. His clients have included Proctor & Gamble, IBM, Monsanto, Apple, Syngenta, Bayer, John Deere, government agencies and non-profits. He has been an adjunct professor at the University of Cincinnati and Ohio University.

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Ginny Grimsley