Leadership, management and productivity

Leadership with management and how they feed productivity

Are you a great leader or a great manager or a bit of both?  If so, does your team always find the most productive way of meeting your clients needs?

Productivity isn’t just the most recent buzz word.  It is a state of mind our country really needs to embrace.  The Be the Business event in the Houses of Parliament last week brought together business leaders and politicians to explore ways of increasing the UKs comparative productivity.  MP Andrew Griffith hosted the parliamentary reception and Tony Danker spoke very eloquently on the opportunity for government to back business productivity and level up the opportunity for every business to improve their performance.

Great opportunity to discuss these issues with leaders like Paula Carter, and Jenny Cridland

Leaders have followers, managers have a team

What strikes me about good leaders is that they are surrounded by people who genuinely value their plans and clearly understand them.  What really hits me about great leaders is that people are willing to follow them.  Sometimes without clearly understanding their plans.  Good leaders manage people and are truly great managers.  Great leaders inspire people.  They pass on the day to day management of their people to managers who really understand what is needed from the team.

Good managers achieve everything that is asked of them by their leaders.  But great managers achieve everything the leader wants before the leader asks them to do it.

Good management skills can be taught and with hard work they can be implemented in any team.  Great management skills only happen when a good manager works with a great leader.

A business led by a good leader and a good management team can become one of the most productive teams in its sector by adapting the best management techniques used in or around the sector.  The same business could be a class leader in productivity if it is led by a great leader who looks beyond their sector and enables their management team to create world beating systems.

Leaders are Readers (thanks Barry)

The big question many of us find is how do we develop great managers and how do great leaders grow? Some of the answers to these questions came out at a dinner debate for business organised by Joanne Holborn of Baines Wilson and ourselves (Thomas Jardine & Co).   We’re not going to go into too much detail here about what was a fascinating night. The dinner was based around a discussion on Cumbria as “the place to work”.

One of the recurring themes was how do we create great managers.  The other which was fascinating was how do we as business leaders become the best leaders we can be?  The main answer to this was always be prepared to learn and get out and see what is not familiar.  As Barry Leahey succinctly put it leaders are readers.  Leaders always want to learn more.  Great leaders are driven to continuous improvement.

Lets drive great leadership and great managers

Thomas Jardine & Co are really pleased to be working with Be the Business who are driving the productivity challenge forward.  We are also immensely proud to be asked to work with the likes of Baines Wilson who believe and directly invest in their place.

The future of leadership and management in Cumbria is looking great.  The positive, realistic energy in the room for both the Be the Business Parliamentary Reception and Cumbrian Dinner Debate was palpable.  Let’s embrace the national and regional drive to create great leaders and managers .  Productivity thrives when a business has great leaders and great managers.

 

 

 


High streets, place , people and productivity

Future of the high street

High streets are changing. Our high streets should focus on the community needs rather on slightly modifying what we have always done. When faced with  a change in business circumstances ,Thomas Jardine & Co always use Strategyzers excellent Business Model Canvas.  This focuses our attention on end users rather on our portfolio of services and products.  In business life it is not a case of doing what you have always done.  It’s about  doing what your customer needs to get past their problems and improve their life.

We have to meet the needs of the community in a way that is economically sustainable for both the high street businesses and those businesses or organisations that support them. For this productivity is key.  Thomas Jardine & Co has a thing about productivity, Jacqui is an ambassador for Be the Business who are tasked with driving productivity up across the country.

The High Streets belong to a place

There is an extreme diversity in size and scope of our high streets (see Institute of Place Management). They can be servicing a small catchment area with mainly retail services. Or act as an anchor for a vast catchment area offering a wide variety of services. The place the high street is set in is not dictated by political boundaries. Carlisle for example has a catchment area that covers various counties and two countries.

High streets are a community of people

Our high streets are made up of businesses that serve the community that chooses to use them. Our community looks to both the high street businesses and the council to provide a place that meets their needs.  We often forget that a lot of the businesses and councils are made up of people who are part of the community.  Your high street future will be about true collaboration of all those involved from users to businesses to council and business support.

Productivity

The high street is based on service. Service industries such as retail , hospitality and food traditionally rely on a pool of lower paid workers.  So the rise of minimum wage has a disproportionate impact on businesses in that sector that continue to depend on low wage work force .  The problem the businesses have is that they are serviced based at a time when consumers are increasingly price conscious.  Those businesses that adopt technology can increase productivity. This allows them to upskill their workforce and still offer a degree of personal service. The excellent essays from the Carnegie UK Trust and RSA look at productivity in the UK. Productivity isn’t just about replacing low paid low productive jobs with high paid high productive jobs. It’s about creating an attitude to improving the future of the business and the worker. If business isn’t allowed to focus on this then the future of business and jobs is in jeopardy.

Productivity and the High Street

High Street food and hospitality businesses need more focused support from the ‘business support sector’. From a business perspective:

  • Businesses don’t always take up the available support funds because the route to these funds is far from transparent.  Do funders offer funding via the usual partners rather than talking to businesses ?
  • Businesses don’t always use the training support offered because the support can be ‘off the shelf’. Do trainers deliver what they always have rather than what the business needs ?
  • Business tend to spend a lot of time focusing on the potential impact of regulations which takes them away from focusing on business productivity.  With limited resource do regulators  rely on business keeping up with regulations rather than working with business to mitigate the risk the regulations is set to deal with?
  • If a business wants to expand it has to deal with a raft of different bodies.  Do councils with limited resources focus on delivering individual services (sometimes with conflicting recommendations) rather than offering a one stop solution for individual businesses?

No-one is right or wrong here.  That doesn’t matter.  If we don’t all work together to improve the productivity of the high street so that it can offer the services its communities need then we all lose.

Future High Street Fund

The governments new Future High Street Fund which is open to a 100 high streets across the country. It recognises that the private and public sector need to work together.

It is easy to say that collaboration between the public sector and private sector is key to the future of our high streets.  We are all part of the same community, where we work together and focus on the end user of our high street we will have a sustainable future. Where we don’t we can always blame each other.