The leap from family business to part of a PLC Group

Date: 9th Jul '14

Andy Williams, Managing Director, Plumbase (previously Jackson Building Centres)

If we had not undergone training with human alchemy, we would not have had any real sense of clarity or direction.

As a team, we became better equipped to deal with our new challenges by understanding what a PLC needed and wanted from us.  We would have been rudderless without the insights given to us by Paul & Dawn.

When I was managing director at Jackson Building Centres, human alchemy helped us get to grips with matrix management. The family business had been managed on a hierarchical reporting line basis and so when it was finally integrated into Grafton PLC, we had to learn how to operate within a multiple reporting line structure. Dawn and Paul helped us see the bigger picture and to understand the different focus and priorities of a PLC and how we could work alongside not against them. 

My new understanding of matrix management was so empowering, I now get its principles and it’s become my day-to-day working life.

Since that initial training with both Dawn and Paul, I now work on a mentored one-to-one basis with Paul, in my new role as managing director of Plumbase, another company in the Grafton Group. What I like about Paul is that he tells you how it is. When a lot rides on your decisions, you need honest advice so you can make the right choices. Paul doesn’t tell you what you want to hear, he tells you want you need to hear and I respect that!

I found human alchemy’s combined experience, extremely helpful as they both have real life experiences to draw upon plus they live and breathe it. They understand that the day-to-day reality of business is not necessarily ‘text book’.

I have changed how I deal with the people who report into me. These are subtle changes in my management style, which individually are hard to describe as they have become the norm now. And I, in turn, am filtering these improved and better practices throughout my teams and colleagues.

I would absolutely recommend human alchemy and consider their experience and unshakeable drive great USPs! They helped steer me and my team through a complicated transition.