Cream of the crop
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 quolux.co.uk
Cotteswold Dairy managing director George Workman