Waddies Print Group
 Mobilising Management The Waddies Way By Brian Purves,
 Managing Director, Waddies Print Group

We may be within a stone's throw of Murrayfield but few can more seriously challenge Rugby's investment in creative teamwork and individual talent. Little over a year ago we may have had a workforce of 400 but despite that, there remained a dearth of quality management in depth with which to drive our ambitions for the future forward. Worse, we had aspirations but no structured plan with which to deliver them.

In 1998 that has all changed and investment in both a rigorous strategic planning process and the development of management and leadership skills at all levels find us becoming as well equipped as anyone in print to capture the opportunities of our markets. The principle catalyst to change was our customers' bombardment of our customer service and account handling staff with requests for business support strategies that had never even begun to enter our heads. Where were our disaster recovery plans, performance benchmarking and risk management initiatives? We became all too well aware that if we were to meet the stringent demands of Scotland's financial institutions not only had we to plan to do so but to 'force feed' an embryonic management team.

Workplace Marketing™ has, over 18 action packed months, given us the courage, confidence, creativity and competence to provide our customers with our own special brand of competitiveness. Workplace Marketing™ 's methods are highly practical and have captured the energies and imaginations of even our most junior and inexperienced people. They have learned by doing and by their motivations to resolve some of our most complex and far-reaching business problems.

We began by inviting Strategic Management Resources to facilitate a business development and planning process that captured the personal ambitions of the individual members of the board and enabled us to fashion a future not only sensitive to our abilities but to the migration of our markets. We then invited our top 16 managers to a conference within which they were able to pull our proposals apart and identify the very real barriers to the realisation of our plans. 25 items headed our agenda for change … far too many for a Board of 4 executive directors to address. So we gave our newly liberated team a taste of their own medicine.

Each of our 16 managers was allocated a mission critical matter to resolve and 3 months within which to make real progress. After 3 months each would be back in conference to report on their activities … but there were rules of engagement. Each manager would be their project team's leader and invite four other members of staff to join them. No one member of staff could serve on two teams and one of the four had to be under 25 years of age. At least three different departments and status levels had to be represented. By this means some 60 members of staff gave up their spare time and applied their talents to our cause. The outcomes have become a testament not only to their dedication and commitment but to the support given to their efforts by their colleagues. Our managers have gained well deserved respect for consultation and action-centred leadership.

We now plan machine maintenance, review the performance of both our capital and people resources, communicate more effectively, have instituted a mechanism for performance benchmarking, understand and manage risk and provide our customers with disaster recovery plans as part of our product offering.

Our most recent management initiative is to design and deliver a graduate and raw talent recruitment and development programme to meet our skills requirements for the future. Managers at all levels are involved in prescribing our need and have obtained the commitment of their people to passing on their own critical competencies.

Workplace Marketing™ is surely driving our achievement of well-managed profitable growth.


devised by Juliet Williams, Founder Director

Case Study 1: Mobilising Management at Waddies Print

Case Study 2: A Media Miracle at York and County Press

 Workplace Marketing™ Fact Sheet (62Kb)

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