John Bolton is the latest recruit to our Marketing Team, having joined us in February. John was keen to learn what makes the company tick, so we let him loose on our Chairman, Andy Jervis, with a recorder and a notebook. He started by asking Andy what he considers is Chesterton House’s greatest strength. Take it away Andy!
It's an old cliche, but ours is a people business and it's the people who are our biggest asset by a country mile. I believe that our greatest strength is that every person in the business buys into our overall message and understands what we're aiming to achieve. If everyone gets behind that message, then we can move mountains. It's about understanding the outcomes.
There's a story about a small engineering factory that made these tiny, seemingly insignificant components using high-precision machines. Usually the operation ran slick as a whistle, but lately they had been having quality control issues and the management were concerned about why it was happening. The factory had the capacity to complete the project, but human-error was affecting the output.
The management team spent some time brain-storming how to solve a human-error problem – it’s not as simple as hiring a mechanic to fix a faulty machine. They decided to utilise the services of a management consultant.
The consultant spent some time talking to employees on the production line and the managers, then made an unusual proposal. He suggested that they all went out for the day.
The firm's management weren't convinced, but the consultant had a great reputation so they went along with the plan. Groups of staff went to enjoy a local leisure park, and later went for an excellent meal in a great restaurant.
After the meal, the consultant announced to everyone present that they were now going on to a local airfield for a trip in a helicopter. For some, this was a first-time experience, so anticipation ran high.
The consultant accompanied each group as they soared into the air high above the countryside. As they flew, he spoke to them.
"Is everybody enjoying themselves?" he asked.
“Yes, this is fantastic!" the factory workers replied.
“Have any of you ever been in a helicopter before?” the consultant enquired. “Let’s have a show of hands, who hasn’t been in one before?” Most of the workers raised their hands. “What do you think of it?”
“It’s brilliant, the views are fantastic!” they replied.
“Great, I'm glad you are enjoying yourselves. Whilst we're up here I'd like to show you something."
The consultant reached into his pocket and took out one of the small widgets that the factory was producing. "Does anyone recognise this?"
"Yes, we make them," one of the workers answered.
"Yes, that's right. And I thought that you would like to know that it is this piece of metal that is keeping us in the air right now. It's part of the mechanism that attaches the rotor blades to the helicopter."
Nobody spoke whilst the information sank in.
After that, quality control was not a problem anymore. People could see the bigger picture. The tiny, seemingly insignificant components they made in the factory were vital to keeping people stable at 6,000 feet in the air. Just seeing that, suddenly everybody came on board.
That’s why, here at Chesterton House, we get people spending time with other departments and members of the team. It helps them to see what others in the business do, and how every little detail helps build the services we offer, and the reason why we exist - to help people to plan and achieve their goals, to get their entire financial house in perfect order, and to have a great life!
When our team spend time with our clients and get to understand the power of great advice, delivered over a long period of time, based on a deep understanding of what's important to each person, they get really motivated about how we can deliver those outcomes to our clients. It's a great reason to come to work each day.
Whether you're an employee or client at Chesterton House, part of a family that's connected in some way, or a provider or supplier to the firm, you help to make that team function. Your role in the company is probably greater than you think, so thank you all. It wouldn't happen without you!