Retail chief delivers shop-floor lessons
Saturday 26 September 2009
When Archie Norman took over as chief executive of Asda he inherited 200 managers. After five years 10 survived. The cull left a lot of executive Jaguars idle in the car park. Norman's solution: to raffle off a month's use to employees. As he said, "If you work on the checkout, it causes a stir among the neighbours when you drive home in a Jag."
Norman was speaking at the inaugural League Managers' Association "From Touchline to Boardroom" conference at the Emirates Stadium. The event was billed as a lucrative way to pass on the lessons of football management to business leaders, but the thought occurred, while listening to Norman and other executives who joined the likes of Arsène Wenger and David Moyes on the podium, that the education was mutual.
Norman noted that in football, like politics, "a new guy brings regime change", which meant a lot of knowledge was lost. A lesson itchy chairmen might ponder. Alan Curbishley, sharing the stage, recalled such was the crisis when he took over West Ham United that he retained the coaching staff. West Ham stayed up.
Norman stressed the need to motivate everyone, from bin-men up, by finding ways such as the Jaguar raffle of giving them a stake. Asda paid less than rivals, but had better staff retention and absenteeism rates. The football parallel is the need for managers to keep the whole squad engaged, and for chairmen to do the same. Also useful was advice from John Timpson, of the eponymous chain, on dealing with a generation that no longer automatically accepts authority. Alex McLeish of Birmingham was one of the few football folk present at an event aimed at business. There should be more next year.
Harry Potter actor suffered 'severe flu-like symptoms' on a flight from London to Orlando
First full-length look is finally here
World cities ranked in terms of safety, food security and 'liveability'
Latest in Sport
Brooklyn Beckham poses in Arsenal training kit following rumours of signing for the Gunners
Manchester United transfer news and rumours: David De Gea could leave for FREE; £38m for Marquinhos; £37m bid for Mats Hummels;
Transfer news LIVE: Manchester United to make £37m Mats Hummels bid; Inter plan Yaya Toure move; Shola Ameobi joins Crystal Palace
Australian Open 2015: Novak Djokovic vs Stan Wawrinka match preview
Danny Ings to Liverpool: The Reds attempt to steal a march on rivals in race to sign Burnley striker
- 2 The awkward moment Sarah Palin raised $25,000 for Hillary Clinton's election campaign
- 3 Ball pool for adults opens in London
- 4 Amal Clooney gives excellent response to fashion question at European Court of Human Rights
- 5 Baldness could soon be treated using stem cells, scientists hope
9 reasons Greece's experiment with the radical left is doomed to failure
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
Have we reached 'peak food'? Shortages loom as global production rates slow
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures