Transformation, by way of Marigold gloves

Jo Francis
Friday, October 6, 2017

Jo Francis is impressed by the cleaning prowess of a newly appointed print boss who's already made a difference to his business.

Business transformation is an often-discussed topic, usually involving lengthy Powerpoint presentations or perhaps a best-selling book.

A rather more down-to-earth example has come my way courtesy of John Charnock, the freshly installed managing director at Nicholson Bass in Belfast.

On his fourth day in the role, Charnock took direct action to address something that was bugging him about the business, that being the rather grubby signage on the outside of the factory.

As Charnock acknowledges, Nicholson Bass is in need of some TLC and fresh impetus, hence his appointment. And that grubby sign was the physical manifestation of a past status involving no-one caring enough to clean it.

Thus, early last Saturday morning he was up a ladder, with a bucket of hot soapy water and a pair of Marigolds on, scrubbing away to bring the sign back to its shiny glory.

(Okay, I admit the Marigolds are a detail of my own making, but I believe they would have been a necessary accessory for this task.)

The signage came up a treat, as you can see from the picture on Charnock’s own blog about it.

So well done John, for laying down a very visible marker about your expectations for how the business will operate under your direction.

Many moons back I remember a very successful print boss talking to me about his ethos of ‘management by walking about’ – by being present and engaged with what was going on on the shopfloor.

I think John has set a great leadership example with his piece of direct action, and I hope the shiny sign is indeed indicative of a brighter future for a business that’s been going for almost 80 years.

And, as I look at the beautiful autumn sunlight showing up the shocking state of the windows at Francis Towers, he has certainly provided me with inspiration for some Marigolds-and-bucket action of my own this weekend.  

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