‘Learn­ing to let go has been a game-changer’

Gloucestershire Echo - - BUSINESS - Ste­wart BARNES Manag­ing Di­rec­tor, Quolux™

WHEN you re­visit com­pa­nies and lis­ten to their ex­pe­ri­ences, you ap­pre­ci­ate the gi­ant strides lo­cal busi­ness lead­ers and their teams are mak­ing.

We last fea­tured Glouces­ter-based SK Re­frig­er­a­tion Heat­ing & Cool­ing four years ago in early 2015 and since then there has been a trans­for­ma­tion in the busi­ness.

This has been led by founder and manag­ing di­rec­tor Si­mon Ker­shaw, who has over­seen a tripling of sales, record prof­its and the de­vel­op­ment of his lead­er­ship teams at all lev­els.

Changes have started at the very top with Si­mon him­self, who has com­pleted the LEAD™ and GOLD™ pro­grammes, with their fo­cus on lead­er­ship and strat­egy im­ple­men­ta­tion.

This has en­abled Si­mon to un­der­stand where his firm makes money and then re­po­si­tion his com­pany to sell more to its most at­trac­tive mar­kets.

“LEAD™ and GOLD™ have been the best in­vest­ments I have made,” chimed a re­laxed Si­mon.

“I have changed my busi­ness model, re­struc­tured the or­gan­i­sa­tion and won the largest or­der in our his­tory.

"I have also built en­dur­ing per­sonal and busi­ness re­la­tion­ships with many lo­cal busi­ness lead­ers.

“If you want to de­velop your­self and share ex­pe­ri­ences with other peo­ple in sim­i­lar po­si­tions to your own, then why wouldn’t you come on LEAD™? That is a ques­tion I pose to other busi­ness peo­ple now who are wrestling with is­sues of growth.

“My per­sonal lead­er­ship style has changed be­cause I was very con­trol­ling.

"Now my man­age­ment team run the busi­ness. Af­ter all, you pay your man­agers to run their de­part­ments so, on re­flec­tion, it seems crazy to be overly con­trol­ling, which pre­vents your man­agers from manag­ing.

“I have in­vested in my man­agers too as they have all been on LEAD™ and my team lead­ers and su­per­vi­sors have been on Lead­light. This is im­por­tant as I wanted them to ben­e­fit in a sim­i­lar way to me. "I also wanted us to have a com­mon lan­guage. The man­agers and their teams have now cre­ated their own plans to dou­ble the size of their di­vi­sions again.

“It is their plans and they be­lieve they can do it. The plans have amaz­ing buy-in.

“That was a game-changer for me – let­ting go.

“Not only that, by let­ting go it has freed my time up to be­come more strate­gic and to fo­cus on the things that as MD I should be look­ing at. "We have iden­ti­fied two mar­ket seg­ments that are poorly ser­viced by oth­ers and we are mak­ing im­me­di­ate gains.”

Si­mon is not rest­ing on his lau­rels and has en­rolled on the Quolux™ GAIN™ pro­gramme ex­plor­ing in­no­va­tion, con­tin­u­ous im­prove­ment and how they can be fur­ther em­bed­ded in his firm. This is the fo­cus of his MBA (Lead­ing Busi­ness). No one knows what the fu­ture holds, but hav­ing a seg­mented busi­ness plan stands you in good stead com­pared to the 68 per cent of com­pa­nies out there that have no plan and are led by peo­ple who largely do not find the time to meet and en­gage staff.

I am con­vinced that the ap­proach Si­mon, his man­agers and their teams have taken will give them sus­tain­able com­pet­i­tive ad­van­tage.

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