SmallBizPod #35 – how to recruit, manage and motivate staff

Interviews from Inspire 2006 on recruiting and motivating staff with John Timpson of Timpsons, Mark Adlestone of Beaverbrooks and Claire Owen of StopGap.

By Alex Bellinger
5th December 2006 at 7:31 pm

This week in SmallBizPod #35, the podcast for entrepreneurs, there’s a whole host of small business advice from three experienced, award winning business leaders: Mark Adlestone from jewellers Beaverbrooks, Claire Owen of recruitment consultancy StopGap and John Timpson, chairman of family business Timpsons. It’s very much a show about hiring and firing, but more importantly caring about your business and the people who work in it. Lots of practical advice recorded at Inspire 2006 a conference held by the Academy For Chief Executives. There’s also the usual round up of listener comments.

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Show Notes



• 00:00 Alex on what’s coming up in the show.


• 00:45 Interview with Mark Adlestone, Managing Director of Beaverbrooks the jewellers. In the last three years Beaverbrooks has been voted 2nd, 3rd and 4th in the Sunday Times Best Companies to Work For awards and in each of these year Mark came 1st for leadership. Alex and Mark talk about how he turned around a business with a 50% turnover of staff to one 99% of staff say they’re proud to work for Beaverbrooks. Mark also discusses business as a force for social and economic good as much as it is for profit and his beusines ethos of ‘success with ethics’.

• 06:43 Interview with Claire Owen, managing director of recruitment consultancy StopGap who has also recently picked up an award for her leadership skills from the Sunday Times. Claire and Alex talk about her ‘lunch test’, how to recruit the right people and retain them. Claire also discusses developing busines values, match-making talent to your business ethos and her enthusiasm for ‘away days’.


• 15:04 Comment left on the SmallBizPod blog by Caron Sprake in Devon on life changing information and small business advice and a music recommendation as well as a plug for Doug Smart‘s one minute podcasts.
• 17:54 Email from Stephen Embleton about entrepreneurship in South Africa and what he and others are doing to stimulate small business in the country.


• 19:51 Interview with John Timpson, chairman and chief executive of the largest shoe repair, key cutting, jewellery engraving and watch repair chains in the UK, Timpson. Alex and John talk about upside down management and how to demonstrate trust in your employees. He also talks about his takeover of Mr Minit from UBS as well as identifying ‘drongos’ and how to get rid of staff that don’t fit your business culture.


• 28.10 Music – Puller – Another Trip Home by Jeff Rosianna with thanks to the Podsafe Music Network.

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  1. Ray Algar says:

    Hi Alex. Enjoyed the show. Is the format now to air more, but shorter interviews? I suppose it may depend on how much an interviewee has to say

  2. alex says:

    Hi Ray. The length of these interviews was more a sympton of the time available between sessions at the conference.

    Having said that I think the shorter interviews work very well. Personally I like to mix up more in depth interviews with shorter ones, but what do you guys think?

    More frequent shorter interviews, or mix it up a bit and try to be more frequent anyway?

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