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Turnarounds: Learning From "Tabatha's Salon Takeover"

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Last week's episode of Tabatha's Salon Takeover (on Bravo) had many of the elements of a school turnaround scenario:  poor services, a neglected facility, a dispirited and fractious staff, unclear lines of responsibility, and lack of accountability.  Tabatha played the role of Arne Duncan, providing a big dose of motivation and a bag of cash. But she also helped the salon employees regain a sense of value and ownership, listened to their ideas, and gave everyone a chance to re-apply for their jobs.  In the end, only one stylist had to go.

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Actually, Tabatha is more like Michelle Rhee--hands-on and all about the 'tude. How many stylists were there? If there were, say, eight employees, that's getting rid of 12.5%, the lowest-performing staff, the weakest links. Well above the Hanushek Bar for quick and instant improvement. The only disconnect? Nobody listens to the ideas of existing teaching staff.

did you see the episode?

actually there was a lot less attitude than you might imagine, and a lot more asking them what they thought they could do to make things better and finding out who wanted to step up ... and a LOT of stylists admitting that they'd let things slipped over the years, and weren't doing the best they could do.

sure, tabatha's tough and humorless in her demeanor, but in this episode at least (the only one i've seen) it wasn't just being mean for it's own sake.

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