Cream of the crop

Gloucestershire Echo - - BUSINESS -

In the run-up to this year’s Busi­ness Awards, Quolux™, the lead­er­ship de­vel­op­ment and strat­egy spe­cial­ist and spon­sor of the Life­time Achieve­ment Award, ex­plores the link be­tween good lead­er­ship and busi­ness suc­cess among pre­vi­ous win­ners.

This week, Stewart Barnes, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Quolux™, re­flects on the suc­cess of Cotteswold Dairy, which was crowned Fam­ily Busi­ness of the Year in 2016.

THE fam­ily busi­ness Cotteswold Dairy has come a long way since it be­gan its 30-gal­lon-per-day milk rounds more than 80 years ago.

To­day, the com­pany sells 85 mil­lion litres of milk each year, em­ploys some 350 peo­ple and has a turnover of £53 mil­lion.

This suc­cess is no doubt down to the di­rec­tion of its lead­er­ship team. From its orig­i­nal founder Harry Workman to the cur­rent man­ag­ing di­rec­tor, Ge­orge Workman (Harry’s grand­son), their abil­ity to in­no­vate, guide and drive the busi­ness for­ward has been in­te­gral to its suc­cess.

Recog­nis­ing the value of good lead­er­ship has en­sured a com­mit­ment to de­vel­op­ment in this area. Ge­orge and Justin Young (op­er­a­tions di­rec­tor) both com­pleted our lead­er­ship de­vel­op­ment pro­gramme called LEAD™ and are now part way through the next stage – GOLD™.

As well as open­ing their eyes to their own “shad­ows of in­flu­ence” (what ef­fect they were hav­ing on their teams) the pro­grammes have also armed them with new lead­er­ship tech­niques.

These have been used to sup­port a com­pa­ny­wide new man­age­ment style and cul­ture change pro­gramme, boost­ing em­ployee en­gage­ment and, in turn, pro­duc­tiv­ity. Pro­tect­ing its her­itage and en­sur­ing the com­pany’s fu­ture also led the di­rec­tors to seek sup­port for its next gen­er­a­tion of lead­ers, en­rolling them onto our Lead­light pro­gramme – specif­i­cally de­signed for mid­dle lead­ers of busi­nesses. Suc­ces­sion plan­ning is key to any busi­ness’s suc­cess – par­tic­u­larly, per­haps, for fam­ily firms – and so arm­ing fu­ture lead­ers with the knowl­edge, tools and frame­works to make more strate­gic de­ci­sions, as well as im­prov­ing man­age­ment prac­tice, is vi­tal.

Part of these plans for Cotteswold Dairy also in­cludes a con­tin­u­ous im­prove­ment pro­gramme with an ob­jec­tive to in­volve all staff, through var­i­ous ac­tion teams. Their aim is to work smarter with what they do, with their pro­cesses and de­liver the very best prod­ucts to mar­ket.

This re­lent­less ap­proach to im­prove­ment across all parts of the busi­ness has cer­tainly reaped re­wards and it’s not hard to see why they claimed the ac­co­lade of Fam­ily Busi­ness of the Year in 2016.

And, de­spite in­evitable new chal­lenges, this firm is cer­tainly well equipped to take them on – con­tin­u­ing to de­liver ex­cel­lence (and milk) for years to come.

The next LEAD™ pro­gramme be­gins in Novem­ber 2019, when we’ll be bring­ing to­gether another small group of MDS, owner-man­agers, di­rec­tors, se­nior man­agers and part­ners to ex­plore their lead­er­ship and grow their com­pa­nies. To see videos from like-minded lead­ers and dis­cover whether LEAD™ might help you with your lead­er­ship de­vel­op­ment, visit

Cotteswold Dairy man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Ge­orge Workman

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