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Managing our companies

What do we believe?

  • We do not expect everyone to be perfect, but we want
    them to try their best.
  • We do not expect our company managers to know everything, but we expect them to want to learn more.
  • We avoid managing by personalities, and refer to positions and processes.
  • We create our structures from first principles, not past practice.
  • We believe that scrutiny is better for everyone at every level – we are scrutinized by the Investors, the GMs are scrutinized by us and so on.
  • We believe that several heads are better than one except where rapid decision-making is essential. That said, in a well structured business, rapid decision-making should the exception, not the norm.
  • We believe in making a plan (even if it changes) because the plan, the document, the discussion, the structure – give the issue life!
  • We believe in holding people accountable to those plans because that ensures progress gets made from one Monday to the next.

How does this work in practice?

We use a ‘Business Blueprint’ which is a minimum set of plans which must exist to run the business. This Plan of plans dictates when – and how – each one is maintained, and ultimately when it is presented to the Board for review.
Any such plans don’t have to be beautiful lengthy documents – as long as they show what we intend to do when, and there is an explanation why. We have learnt from over sixty businesses that it is things like that which make things happen.
As experienced operations managers, we provide or launch these plans with the managers of each subsidiary. We are there to help them create them, update them and follow them. If anything is proving a challenge for them, we roll our sleeves up and help.