Upside down management

August 6, 2009 at 8:45 pm Leave a comment

by Matthew Horne

There was a brilliant piece on In Business on Radio 4 tonight on Timpsons the Cobblers.

I have long been interested in them since they came out top as the best company to work for. Marx would tell us that their shop employees avoid alienation being involved in most parts of the production process  from manufacturing, to customer service, to pricing policy and dealing with complaints.

Shop staff can settle a complaint with up to £500 without asking permission, and they can change prices to cut deals with customers and use their discretion. The don’t have budgets or targets but just analyse income and activity relative to last year. The CEO walks the high street visiting stores to learn about what is working. Shops are responsible for manufacturing, sales and customer service, but not training, recruitment, cover, and other business processes.

The model of empowerment their CEO has developed sounds fantastic. Can we get him run a government department?

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Entry filed under: Admin, Corporations, Government Departments, Local Authorities, Local Innovation.

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