Challenging Culture Doesn't Have to be Challenging, says business expert Richard Close

LONDON--()--Taking over a struggling business where the staff culture needs changing can be a daunting task, but according to business turnaround specialist Richard Close, challenging culture needn’t be challenging, if the right processes are followed.

Richard has turned around the fortunes of four loss-making companies and turned them into multi-million pound profit generators. The latest one is Briggs Equipment, which under Richard’s management has achieved exponential growth culminating in a tenfold profit last year. Staff are a key asset, he says, but if the culture doesn’t work for the business plan, the business transformation will not happen.

Richard says: “There are many ways to challenge the status quo of staff culture and get them on your side. One of the key ones is communication; staff like to be kept abreast of developments and feel valued in the process. Tactics such as ‘walking the walk’ – where business leaders actually take the time out to walk the shop floor and talk to staff about their concerns – are an excellent way of making staff feel valued.

“Companies should also think about holding regular roadshows to reach out to staff further – as well as developing blogs and newsletters and using the popular medium of social networks. By being open in communication, you can ensure the messages get through all the management tiers and to all staff. Cut out the middle management if necessary to get the message directly to staff,” he added.

Richard also states that staff should feel in control of their own career progression, and advocates a development programme and regular reviews, coupled with lots of encouragement and support, to help employees ‘grow’. Giving them the freedom to make decisions, but making them accountable for the decisions, is a key way to empower staff.

These are just some of the tactics employed by Richard Close to help Briggs Equipment take its profits from £300,000 in 2010 to £3m in 2011.


For further information about Richard Close visit


Victoria Harris, Kirsty Shaw or Gina Tunley
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