What would be the right success ingredients for you? In this case, the proposed recipe is for your future business growth. There were some great ideas and a real buzz generated at our recent event for local Food and Drink producers on this topic. Taking a different creative perspective highlighted new ideas for delegates. The aim of the event was to create an innovative space to share and build practical strategies for the future. I have summarised some key points from the speakers and the subsequent discussions.
Brewing the Right Success Ingredients
Darren Batten: Head Brewer and Director of Palmers Brewery outlined the three key ingredients for their success. His passion for the business was palpable and inspiring. If you ever visit the brewery, you can see their culture in action.
- Effective Communication
Communication is critical to everything. It involves talking to everyone in the business. You need to learn about your people and use their strengths. Directors need to talk to each other regularly, so everyone knows what is going on. In a family business, the consideration has to be for careful investment for the long term. This is thinking about the next generation and succession planning. You are the ‘custodians’ of the business.
Reputation takes years to build but can be lost in seconds; (especially with modern technology and social media). It is important to buy quality ingredients that are right for the job; rather than the cheapest.
Quality people are vital and they should fit with the rest of the team. To retain them, you need to appreciate them, give them thanks and involve them. If you have ‘away days’ or social events, it’s about making sure all Directors attend.
Having a quality culture means leading by example. You have to be prepared to work with the team and role model the behaviours you want.
- Don’t Think You Can Do It All Yourself
Be prepared to delegate and use experts, who can do it quicker, easier, better than you. If you empower your team to do more, you can spend more of your time working on the business.
Delegates’ Right Success Ingredients
- Inspirational leadership – Passion for what you do.
- Recruiting and retaining the right people.
- Clear understanding of roles and responsibilities.
- Flexibility within the team, so one person is not the only person who knows.
- Breaking the hierarchical structure – treated as equals.
- Clear direction and vision, so people know where you are leading them.
- Collaboration so people feel involved and know what is going on.
- Niche branding that emphasises quality; not just for your product, but as an employer of choice.
- Showing appreciation and recognition– helping people feel valued.
- Share the good times and the not so good.
- Trust – allow your people to do what they are best at.
- Effective communication, which is personal and not necessarily electronic.
- Pride in themselves, the company and the products.
Post Brexit Labour Market
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Delegates’ Actions in Relation to People
- How do we become an employer of choice?
- Review our staffing strategy.
- Use more apprenticeships – grow the market.
- Provide evidence of career progression. If offered at interview, make sure it happens.
- Retain people with a good salary, progression and even ‘ownership’ ( John Lewis style?). Consider recognition, support and flexibility.
- Increase training – spend time with your team.
- Build your reputation as a company that’s going somewhere – create a buzz.
- Make it fun to work for you – people spend a lot of hours at work!
- Treat people with integrity by following through on your promises and being fair.
- Net migration – understand the bigger picture – how will it affect your supply chain and the wider industry?
- Reduce labour needs with bigger equipment and technology.
Creating the Right Culture
Rosie Barfoot: Partner: Training for Results, explained why your culture is vitally important for all business aspects. This is from recruitment, retention, productivity, quality, branding to overall profitability. In terms of a recipe, it is like an egg. It’s what binds the rest of the ingredients together and helps them rise above your competitors. It gives your people direction on how to behave every day. Your brand is determined by your culture.
Culture comes from you as leaders. You need to role model the behaviours you want and manage out the ones you don’t. If you can’t live it, don’t say it. She strongly recommends involving your team in defining what culture you need to achieve the vision. Culture change will not happen overnight and you need to persevere. By using your peers, you can build a team of culture carriers! A recommended read is: One Mission by Chris Fussell
Aspects to Consider:
- How much time do you give to develop the culture strategy? Do you make it an important priority?
- How much time do you work on the business rather than in it?
- Do you know what culture you need and what your personal values are?
- How will you consult with your team as to what culture, values and behaviours they want? How will you explain why it is important and listen to them?
- Can you live it every day – role model it?
- What training might you need to achieve this?
Delegates’ Actions for Building the Right Culture
- Don’t ‘do it to them’ or impose the culture.
- Provide a platform for discussion – create openness.
- Clarify the core values – link to brand and customers.
- Know your people – say hello, know their names and something about them.
- Ensure they are empowered to make decisions.
- Trust them to do their job.
- Manage performance and behaviours – use peer pressure.
- Give recognition – let people know when they are doing well.
- The little gestures are important.
- Be positive about it – be there for the long haul.
- It has to be sustainable and fit for purpose.
- Review the culture regularly and keep it on track.
Delegates’ Learning and Actions from the Event
- Review our brand image and make sure all our employees follow that culture.
- Use outside assistance to take the business to the next level.
- Ensure strategic plans are understood and embraced outside board level.
- Give more recognition by
- Saying hello, goodbye, thank you and positive feedback to production team.
- Being genuine with it.
- Rewarding people when they do well.
- Improve communication and context by:
- Explaining reasons behind business decisions.
- Involving the team in all stages.
- Getting them to embrace change.
- Engage the team in decision making more.
- Promote effective communication.
- Make our culture more visible.
- Become an employer of choice.
- Persevere with holding the team accountable for actions and change.
- Look at immigration law and speak to BBPA.
- Revisit, understand and share the vision. Talk to the team to find out what is and isn’t working for them.
- Get to know the people outside our immediate team.
- Improve communication with members (customers) to find out what is best for them.
- As a consultant, challenge clients’ culture and values and do they live them?
“The Recipe for Success workshop enabled me to meet some inspirational leaders who were passionate about their businesses, staff and products. This has given me some great ideas and focus points to take back to the team to help us overcome the challenges we face. Ken and Rosie guided us through the session skilfully; challenging and supporting us where needed. I would highly recommend attending future sessions!”
Beth Newman, Lubborn Cheese Ltd
What will you do to increase the right success ingredients in your business? If you would like more information on this or a worksheet to create your own Recipe for Success, please contact us.
Also published on Medium.