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In business, it’s great teams that deliver and achieve success. Individual strengths and capabilities are great, we need them, but staying in the game for the long haul needs more than just a group of talented individuals. We need a great team.

I believe authenticity is at the root of a great team. A team where people are prepared to show up and be open about who they really are, what they think and feel, and what they believe. We need to create safe spaces for this to unfold. If the space isn’t safe, people can’t be authentic. They can’t be who they really are. While people are wearing a mask and pretending, great teamwork will be difficult to achieve.

The problem is, there are people with traits that make them less prone to being a great team player. That’s not to say that they couldn’t learn, adapt, and change their behaviour over time, but their lack of capacity to be part of a team, could be holding you back.

You may be reading this because you have someone in your team who you believe is not being a team player. Or you may be curious as to why your team dynamics are not brilliant. Or maybe you are humble enough to be exploring the fact that it might be you that is not a great team player. Whatever your reason for reading, take the below ideas as opportunities for improvement, as opposed to a witch hunt. Opportunities to work with people on supporting behavioural change and making a positive impact in their lives.

What are the profiles of people who struggle in a team?

I am not going to go into the deep psychology here. That would need to be a full book to get the depths of why people struggle being a team player. But in summary, the types of people below are the ones I see struggling the most to perform well as part of a team. 90% of the time, there are childhood stories around why people behave the way they do. Often circumstances beyond people’s control. Be mindful of that with others and yourself, as you read through and plan your next steps.

The Lone Wolf

People who are highly individualistic and independent will often only see things from their own perspective and will prioritise their own goals and needs, ahead of the teams’. They can work well on their own and will often push for “being left alone” and will struggle to see the point of teamwork. “I’m fine just getting on with things… meetings and discussions slow me down.” While autonomy is great, we need collaboration and cohesion in an effective team.

The Narcissist

People who have a high level of self-importance and grandiosity will often seek admiration and validation from others. Rather than seeing results as a team win or loss, narcissists want to ensure that everyone hears how well they have done, and how important their part was in the success or failure. And when it goes wrong, it’s usually ‘the others’ that caused the failure. They tend not to care about people’s feelings, usually because they don’t understand them.

The Victim

People who play the victim are generally blamers. They will be at the centre of drama a lot of the time and will say “why has this happened to me again?”. They don’t take responsibility for their own part in conflict situations and failures, and always point the finger at others. Sometimes to the point of manipulation, where they don’t share the whole truth to ensure the others get the blame.

The Fixed Mind

People who struggle to open their mind to learning and changing things about themselves. It seems glaringly obvious to the rest of the team, that they have a development area that they need to work on, but they struggle to show vulnerability and see this ‘opportunity for improvement’ a sign of weakness. The fixed mindset thinking can be a little black and white. Things are right or wrong. You are good or you’re not. You can do something, or you can’t.

The Ego

People who hide behind a mask or persona to project a greater image of themselves to the world. Often someone who struggles with low self-esteem and lack of confidence. They always want to be right because being wrong creates a huge internal conflict that they are not good enough. Their ego needs lots of stroking and can distract the teams’ attention towards pleasing them, rather than what is best for the team.

The Spectator

People who are lazy and for some reason make every effort to avoid doing any work. They always seem to find a role where they are on the side lines watching others working, rather than mucking in and being part of the team. They can be good at organising others and delegating, but a good team needs everyone to pay an equal contribution (albeit the roles may be different, we should all put in the same amount of energy to team success).

The Angry One

People who are passive aggressive and have a chip on their shoulder. They struggle to communicate with the rest of the team in a calm manner and can be perceived as negative and or prickly. Others may avoid working with them because they a just so angry about everything. It is often misplaced passion for the angry person, and they just don’t appreciate what it’s like being on the receiving end of them.

The Objector

People who are naturally drawn to disagreeing with the views of the team, just to stir things up. Even when they agree, they will disagree, to provide themselves with some fun debate with everyone. Fun for them, but not fun for the team who just want to collaborate and move things forward. It’s healthy to have an environment where you can openly disagree with each other, but maybe not on everything. That’s just frustrating for the rest of the team involved.

The Gossip

People who share personal or private details from conversations beyond the boundaries of where they should do. They create divides between different teams whilst aiming to be part to both. Rumours or distorted information are leaked and can lead to unease in a team or culture. When a team suspects they are working with a gossip, they with obviously withhold personal and delicate details, which will hold the team back from building any depth in their relationships.

How could I improve my team performance?

Hopefully, you have found some insight from the profiles and can identify the different traits that may be causing you and your team a few issues. Please be humble and be honest with yourself first if you feel any of these resonate with you (they probably do – that’s if you are a human). Great teams need great leadership, and if it’s you that is part of the problem, best to fix that one first.

Some people will not be working well in a team because they have more than one of the profiles above that applies to them. And the more of the profiles that apply to you, the more of a challenge it will be to change. Which I believe is possible if you can answer yes to these two questions…

  1. Does the person have the will and desire to commit to the changes needed to be a team player?
  1. Will they take ownership of their own behaviour in the process?

Here are a few ways you and your team can help each other and move things forward:

Communicate openly: Make a safe space for people to be open and encourage team members to communicate openly and constructively with each other. This can help surface any issues or conflicts within the team and normalise the humanness of being part of a team.

Provide feedback: Encourage team members to provide feedback to each other in a clear and constructive way. This can help the individual understand the impact of their behaviour on others and motivate them to make changes.

Set clear expectations and boundaries: Work together as a team to set clear expectations for behaviour and collaboration, and what is not acceptable. This can help ensure that everyone is on the same page and working towards the same goals.

Encourage teamwork: Foster a culture of teamwork and collaboration within the team. This can help the problem person or people understand the importance of working effectively with others and motivate them to change their behaviour.

Provide support: Offer support and encouragement to the problem person or people. Sometimes being a critical friend is the support people need. They need honest feedback to know what they need to work on. Let them know that you are there to help them succeed and that you believe in their ability to change.

Gain commitment: Where personal development is required, ensure you gain a clear commitment from the person and/or people on the specific things they will be working on to close any behavioural gaps. Hold back from telling people what to do here. Ask them what they intend to do to improve, why they are doing it, and when they will do this by. This encourages responsibility and taking ownership.

Celebrate: Have a peer vote on the team member of the month or quarter based on who the team feel is modelling the right behaviour. Asking the team why they have voted for this person will provide insights into what that person has done or is doing that makes them a great team player. This encourages the behaviours you are looking for and help others see what good looks like.

Deal with the deviants: Based on the experiences from the journey with the above steps, some people may refuse or be unable to make the behaviour changes needed to align with the team. Take corrective action to address the situation. This may include disciplining or removing someone from a team. And if you do find yourself at this stage with people, take the learning and amend any processes or policies to prevent similar issues from occurring in the future.


Our ultimate goal should be to work towards a high performing team, but accept the human element to this, and that nothing will ever be perfect. By working together as a team and taking a proactive approach to addressing problematic behaviours, you can create a more positive and productive work environment for everyone. However, it’s important to remember that ultimately (no matter how much support is given), everyone must make a commitment to being a team player and take responsibility for their own behaviour.

This article was written by the Founder & Managing Director of the Manufacturers’ Alliance, Gary Sheader. Gary is keen to really push the boundaries of modern leadership and has developed a suite of innovative services to help business owners and their teams become the best they can be.
If you are looking for support with the development of your team, why not start by taking our Modern Manufacturing Leadership quiz. It only takes 3 minutes, and may provide you with some immediate insights into developing your team.

The manufacturing sector is a vital part of the UK economy, accounting for £183bn of output, over 10% of GDP and employing nearly 3m people. However, the sector has been facing a plethora of challenges in recent times including, increased competition from low-cost countries, supply chain disruption, rising production costs, skill shortages and technological advancements. Competition is fierce, making it more crucial than ever for manufacturers to adopt effective growth strategies.

This article aims to provide a guide to effective strategies for accelerating manufacturing growth in the sector, including market research, product innovation, and effective marketing.

What are the key facets of a good strategic growth plan?

A good strategic business growth plan should include a clear understanding of the business’s current situation, goals, and market trends. It should identify opportunities for growth and outline specific actions to achieve those goals. Key facets of a successful plan include market research, financial forecasting, risk management, resource allocation, and performance tracking. A solid growth plan should also prioritize innovation, adaptability, and customer satisfaction. By focusing on these areas, businesses can develop a sustainable growth strategy that ensures long-term success.

Do Your Market Research

Market research is the foundation of any successful growth strategy, a high-quality research programme will provide invaluable intelligence and insight. By conducting thorough research, manufacturers can identify opportunities and challenges in the market, understand customer needs, and stay ahead of the competition.

To conduct effective market research, manufacturers should:

  • Identify target markets and segments. Times of change like we are currently experiencing are a good time to lift your head above the parapet. Check the markets you are in are still as relevant, and where there are emerging markets that are a good fit for you.
  • Analyse industry trends and market conditions. There are many digital platforms and papers full of intelligence at your fingertips. Are you embracing these and analysing the trends that could or are affecting your future?
  • Understand customer preferences and behaviours. Your customers will be setting their future direction, making changes, and setting new objectives. Are you aware of your customers future plans, and how they may affect you or the opportunities these may present you with.
  • Monitor competitors and their strategies. Hopefully, you know who you are competing with, but asking customers who they are being approached by is good practice. Are there are any new entrants? Also, a quick google search and a check of your competitors’ websites can provide a lot of good data.
  • Evaluate potential risks and opportunities. Are you spending your monthly management meetings firefighting, or are you looking ahead, and evaluating the risks and opportunities with your team? A great opportunity to engage your team and gather intelligence every month.

In a world where the pace of change, innovation, and technological advancement is relentless, perhaps the ability to learn faster than your competitors is the only sustainable competitive advantage.

Define Your Competitive Advantage to Accelerate Growth

In today’s competitive marketplace, it is more important than ever for businesses to have a clear understanding of their competitive advantage. A competitive advantage is something that gives a business an edge over its competitors, and it can be anything from a unique product or service to a strong brand or reputation.

There are several key steps that businesses can take to define their competitive advantage. These steps include:

  1. Identify your target market. The first step in defining your competitive advantage is to identify your target market. Who are your ideal customers? What are their needs and challenges? Once you understand your target market, you can begin to develop or align a product or service that meets their needs or makes their lives easier.
  2. Analyse your competition. Once you know who your target market is, you need to analyse your competition. What are your competitors doing well? What are they doing poorly? By understanding your competition, you can identify areas where you can differentiate yourself.
  3. Identify your unique selling proposition (USP). Your USP is what makes you different from your competitors. It is the reason why customers should choose you over your competitors. Your USP can be based on your product or service, your brand, your customer service, or any other factor that sets you apart from the competition.
  4. Communicate your competitive advantage. Once you have defined your competitive advantage, you need to communicate it to your target market. This can be done through advertising, marketing, public relations, and other forms of communication.

By following these steps, businesses can define their competitive advantage and accelerate their growth.

Here are some additional tips for defining your competitive advantage:

  • Speak to your customers. Talk to your best customers and ask them why they do business with you. What is it that they feel you do that is unique. What do they feel you could be better at.
  • Be honest with yourself. It is important to be honest with yourself about your strengths and weaknesses. If you are not honest, you will not be able to develop a competitive advantage that is truly sustainable.
  • Be creative. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box when it comes to defining your competitive advantage. The best competitive advantages are often the ones that are unexpected.
  • Be persistent. It takes time and effort to develop a competitive advantage. Don’t give up if you don’t see results immediately. Keep working at it, and eventually you will succeed.

Product and Service Innovation

Innovation is critical to staying competitive and meeting changing customer demands. Manufacturers should continuously invest in research and development to create new and improved products that meet the needs of customers or better still, make their lives easier.

accelerating manufacturing growth

To foster innovation, manufacturers should:

  • Encourage creativity and experimentation. Too many manufacturing businesses have an unhealthy relationship with failure. Businesses that are innovative and continuously improving encourage people to try new things and celebrate the effort. As we all know, the best ideas are the ones that begin with, “I know this may sound silly but…”
  • Invest in research and development. Does your business model factor in research and development time and cost. During tough times, this can sometimes go out of the window, but businesses that excel see this as vital to the longevity of the business plan. How much time is being spent in your business this week on innovation?
  • Collaborate with customers and suppliers. You don’t have to do this alone. Speak to your customers about their needs and explore different ways of servicing them. Similarly with supplier, explore how they could service your needs in new and innovative ways. Do you have these kinds of discussions, or is it all day-to-day stuff?
  • Monitor industry trends and emerging technologies. What innovations are happening in your sector, or similar sectors? Could you become more unique to your customers if you embraced any existing or emerging technologies?
  • Continuously evaluate and improve products. We’ve always done it this way, is one of the statements made by businesses coming to their end. In this world of fast innovation and change, are you spending enough time evaluation your products and services and how satisfied your customers are with them?

Work with Your Supply Chain

In the past, it was thought that companies competed for market share growth. However, in recent years, it has become clear that supply chains are also playing an increasingly important role in competing for growth. There are several reasons for this.

  1. Supply chains are becoming increasingly complex and globalized. This means that it is more difficult for companies to control their own supply chains, and they are more reliant on the performance of their suppliers and partners.
  2. Customers are becoming more demanding. They are looking for products that are high quality, affordable, and available when they need them. This means that companies need to have a well-functioning supply chain to meet customer demand.
  3. Technology is changing the way that companies operate. New technologies, such as cloud computing and big data, are making it possible for companies to manage their supply chains more effectively and efficiently. This is giving companies a competitive advantage over those that are not using these technologies.

As a result of these factors, supply chains are playing an increasingly important role in competing for business. Companies that have a well-functioning supply chain are more likely to succeed in the market than those that do not.

Here are some examples of how companies can collaborate with their supply chains to compete together for market share growth:

  • Work with your supply chain to reduce costs. This can be done by negotiating or collaborating to reduce waste and cost, finding more efficient ways to transport goods, and reducing inventory levels.
  • Work with your supply chain to improve customer service. This can be done by ensuring that products are available when customers need them, by providing accurate information about product availability, or by offering fast and reliable delivery.
  • Work with your supply chain to differentiate your products or services from those of your competitors. This can be done by using a unique supplier network, by developing new ways to transport goods, or by offering innovative customer service solutions.

By investing in its supply chain, a company can gain a competitive advantage over its rivals and grow its market share.

Find the Best Marketing Channels

Effective marketing is simple. It is about getting your message in front of your audience. Good marketing is essential to reaching and engaging existing and new customers and build brand awareness. Manufacturers should develop effective marketing strategies that communicate their value proposition and differentiate them from competitors.

To develop effective marketing strategies, manufacturers should:

  • Define their target audience and segments. As mentioned earlier in this article, who are your ideal customers, and what value can you provide for them?
  • Develop a clear value proposition and messaging. Utilising the language your customers have shared with you, what is the value that you provide?
  • Utilise various marketing channels, such as social media, email, and events. Where are the customers who buy your products and services looking? And what is the chain of events that leads to a purchase? Quite often, a buying decision is not made by one person, and different people in the chain have different needs. Some people’s needs are more weighted than others too. Make sure your efforts are in the places that will provide the best bang for your buck.
  • Monitor and measure marketing performance. Contrary to a lot of beliefs, marketing can be made measurable. For most manufacturers, the most important output from a good marketing campaign is new leads. Are you measuring this, and checking what you are spending to create the leads?
  • Continuously evaluate and improve marketing strategies. Like everything else, marketing is constantly changing and tools and techniques from a few years ago, may not be the best for your business. Speak to other manufacturers about marketing strategies they are utilising to get their message in front of their audience.


Accelerating manufacturing growth in the industry requires adopting effective strategies that align with customer needs and market conditions. By conducting thorough market research, fostering innovation, and developing effective marketing strategies, manufacturers can achieve sustainable growth and stay ahead of the competition.

This post was written by Simon Carin, an accomplished facilitator and mentor with the Manufacturers’ Alliance. During Simon’s 20 years as an MD, the businesses, and people he led consistently delivered profitable growth ahead of the market. Top line growth that enhanced bottom line and ROI. If you would like Simon to support you in developing a robust growth strategy for your manufacturing business, you can request his one-on-one support via our coaching and mentoring offer here.

Another Article You May be Interested in: The Case for Acquisitive Growth

Many business owners do not fully consider and evaluate the opportunity to accelerate growth through acquisition. Acquiring a business comes with its own set of challenges however, it can be a highly effective way to accelerate growth, acquire new skills and competencies and if well managed, can be a surprisingly cost-effective way to accelerate growth.

The Case for Acquisitive Growth – Use Your High Beam

Is Lean Manufacturing Worth the Effort?

As the world of manufacturing becomes increasingly competitive, companies are constantly seeking ways to improve their efficiency and reduce costs. One approach that has gained popularity in the UK over the past couple of decades is lean manufacturing, a philosophy and methodology that emphasises continuous improvement and waste reduction. In this blog post, we’ll explore how Lean principles can help manufacturers maximise efficiency and achieve significant cost savings, while at the same time deliver value to the customer.

What is Lean Manufacturing?

Lean manufacturing is a systematic approach to process improvement that originated in Japan in the 1950s with the Toyota Production System. At its core, Lean is all about identifying and eliminating waste in all forms.

Waste #1 | Non-Value-Added Activity

Any activity that consumes resources that does not add value for the customer is a form of waste. These types of wastes include overproduction and making more than what is necessary, waiting time, defects, excess inventory, unnecessary motion, over processing, and unused talent. By reducing or eliminating these wastes, Lean helps companies achieve higher efficiency, quality, and customer satisfaction, while minimising costs and lead times.

Waste #2 | Lack of Flow

Unevenness in any operation forces a system to batch and queue, which is often caused by the design of the system and not the true demand profile from the customer. The unevenness can cause people to hurry and wait, due to poor system design. Looking at the system and making efforts to level the schedule can remove this form of waste and improve the pace of work.

Waste #3 | Overburdening

Forcing equipment and people to operate at a pace higher than they are designed to run for prolonged periods can stress them to breaking point. Attention should be paid to the true capability of equipment and people. The system should be designed to maximise the potential of equipment and people but not overburden them.

What are the benefits of implementing Lean manufacturing?

A good place to start… what would you like the benefit to be? In one recent Manufacturers’ Alliance case study, a manufacturer in the North West went from a position of needing to invest nearly £300k in capital equipment and recruiting an additional 6 staff, to actually reducing the night shift and avoiding the capital investment, simply by looking at Lean production methods. Start with the challenge or the problem you are trying to solve.

Implementing Lean principles in manufacturing can bring a wide range of benefits, including:

  • Increased efficiency: By eliminating waste and optimising processes, Lean manufacturing can help companies achieve higher throughput, faster cycle times, and lower lead times. This means that products can be produced and delivered to customers more quickly and at a lower cost.
  • Improved quality: Lean manufacturing focuses on identifying and eliminating defects at the source, rather than relying on inspection and rework. This leads to higher quality products and fewer defects, which in turn can reduce warranty claims and improve customer satisfaction.
  • Cost savings: By reducing waste and improving efficiency, Lean manufacturing can help companies reduce their costs and increase their profitability. This can be achieved through lower inventory levels, reduced scrap and rework, and increased productivity.
  • Increased flexibility: Lean manufacturing emphasises continuous improvement and flexibility, which allows companies to quickly adapt to changing customer needs and market conditions. This can help companies stay ahead of their competitors and improve their long-term sustainability.

Lean manufacturing principles

How do you implement Lean principles in manufacturing?

Implementing Lean principles in manufacturing can be a complex and challenging process, but it can also be highly rewarding. Here are some key steps to consider when implementing Lean principles in your manufacturing processes:

  • Define your why: The first step in implementing Lean principles is to define your reason for the change or improvement plan. Unless you are employing lemmings, people will want to know why. And a compelling reason can be a huge motivator to kick things off.
  • Assemble a team: Bring together your champions of change. The people who have the will to make a difference and want to support success. Cross functional teams are the best ones, so look outside of the area you are focusing on for fresh thinking ideas.
  • Identify and map your processes: Map out your existing processes. How do we approach things now? Don’t assume and work with the facts. This will help you understand where waste is occurring and identify opportunities for improvement.
  • Analyse your data: Once you have mapped your processes, you need to analyse your data to identify patterns and trends. This will help you identify the root causes of waste and prioritise your improvement efforts.
  • Build a plan together: Work with your team of champions to create a plan based on your findings. Spread the ownership of different tasks to keep everyone engaged and involved. Be clear about deadlines and agree the review process.
  • Implement process improvements: Based on your data analysis, you can start implementing process improvements to eliminate waste and optimise your processes. This may involve redesigning workflows, reducing setup times, or implementing visual management systems. This is where the traction starts and where people begin to learn. We learn best by doing.
  • Train and engage your employees: Implementing Lean principles requires a cultural shift, and it’s important to engage and train your employees to ensure their buy-in and commitment to the process. This may involve providing training on Lean principles and tools, as well as involving employees in improvement initiatives.
  • Monitor and measure your progress: To ensure that your Lean initiatives are successful, it’s important to monitor and measure your progress. This should involve setting key performance indicators (KPIs) and tracking your progress over time. Make your KPI’s visible and meet regularly to review.
  • Define your lessons learned and go again: Remember to take a step back and understand what you and your team are learning through the process of improvement. Just a simple, what is working well and what could be better is enough. Take on board the lessons and go back to step 1. Oh! And enjoy it!


Implementing Lean principles in manufacturing can bring a wide range of benefits. By identifying and eliminating waste, optimising processes, and engaging employees, companies can achieve significant improvements in their manufacturing operations. While implementing Lean principles can be challenging, the rewards are clearly well worth the effort, and can help companies stay competitive and successful in an increasingly demanding market.

This article was written by John Hardwick, facilitator and operational excellence evangelist with the Manufacturers’ Alliance. John has over 35 years experience in the pharmaceutical industry, as well as a period as Factory Director for the Horlicks factory in Slough. He is an expert in change management with a bias towards operational excellence. If you would like to spend time with John and others interested in improving operational performance, you can join our Operational Excellence Peer Group here

The manufacturing industry is one of the most important sectors to the UK economy and its significance is growing. It is also one of the most complex, with a variety of risks that can threaten the viability of a business. Effective risk management is crucial for manufacturers, an can help mitigate these threats and ensure the long-term success of the business. This article will provide an overview of the key risks faced by manufacturers and the importance of effective risk management in mitigating these threats.

What are the Key Risks in Manufacturing?

Internal risks are those that are within the control of the company, such as operational risks, financial risks, and reputational risks. External risks, on the other hand, are those that are outside the control of the company, such as supply chain disruptions, geopolitical risks, and natural disasters.

What are the Key Internal Risks Facing Manufacturing?

  • Operational risks are perhaps the most common risks faced by manufacturers. These risks include equipment failures, production delays, quality control issues labour shortage challenges.
  • Financial risks include fluctuations in currency exchange rates, interest rates, and commodity prices, which can impact profitability.
  • Reputational risks can arise from product recalls, safety concerns, or environmental incidents, and can damage a company’s brand and reputation.

What are the Key External Risks Facing Manufacturing?

  • Supply chain disruptions can result from pandemics, natural disasters, transportation disruptions, or supplier bankruptcy.
  • Geopolitical risks such as trade wars, sanctions, and political instability can impact access to markets and supply chains.
  • Natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, and floods can disrupt production and supply chains.

Manufacturing risk management overviewRecently on the back of Brexit, Covid 19 and war in the Ukraine we have been experiencing a near perfect storm; supply chain disruption, skill and labour shortages, severe production cost inflation, extended lead times and on-going economic uncertainties not to mention the cost-of-living crisis.

How Can Manufacturers Approach Risk Management Effectively?

Effective risk management is essential for manufacturers to mitigate these threats and ensure the long-term success of the business. It should also be collaborative and approached as a team effort, as teams that go through adversity together often build stronger bonds are far more successful as a result.

Manufacturing risk management should be a continuous process that involves identifying, assessing, and mitigating risks. The following are some key steps in effective risk management:

  • Identify Risks: Manufacturers should conduct a thorough risk assessment to identify all potential risks. This assessment should include both internal and external risks and should involve all stakeholders in the company.
  • Assess Risks: Once risks have been identified, they should be assessed in terms of their likelihood and potential impact on the company. This assessment should be based on data and analysis, rather than speculation or guesswork.
  • Mitigate Risks: Once risks have been assessed, manufacturers should develop strategies to mitigate these risks. This may involve implementing new processes or systems, diversifying supply chains or markets, implementing new safety or environmental procedures or developing new sales and marketing approaches.
  • Monitor and Review: Risk management is an ongoing process, and manufacturers should continuously monitor and review their risk management strategies. This will allow them to identify new risks as they arise and adjust their strategies accordingly.
  • For more complex risks, Scenario planning is a strategy that can help businesses anticipate or mitigate threats and uncertainties by thinking through different scenarios and their potential impact on the business. It involves creating different ‘what if’ scenarios and following them through to their logical end to understand the potential impacts. You then develop an action plan to address these scenarios, allowing you to respond or adapt quickly for competitive advantage.

Opportunity Lies on the Other Side of Risk

Business risks can be scary, but they can also present opportunities for growth, innovation, and competitive advantage. Here are the top 3 ways to turn a business risk into a business opportunity:

  1. Embrace Change: Instead of being afraid of change, embrace it. When a risk arises, assess the situation, and look for ways to adapt and evolve. This can lead to new and improved products, services, or processes that can give your business a competitive edge.
  2. Collaborate: Seek out partnerships with other businesses or experts in the field to help mitigate the risk. Collaborating with others can bring new perspectives and ideas that can help turn a risk into an opportunity.
  3. Innovate: Take the risk and be innovative. Look for ways to pivot your business model or explore new markets. This can lead to discovering untapped opportunities and expanding your customer base.

By embracing change, collaborating with others, and being innovative, businesses can turn risks into opportunities and come out stronger on the other side.

Manufacturing Risk Management Conclusion

Effective manufacturing risk management is crucial for manufacturers to mitigate the numerous threats that can impact their business. By identifying, assessing, and mitigating risks, manufacturers can ensure the long-term success of their company. While it may be impossible to eliminate all risks, effective risk management will help manufacturers prepare for expected or unexpected events and ensure that their organisation is resilient and change-ready in the face of adversity.

This post was written by Simon Carin, an accomplished facilitator and mentor with the Manufacturers’ Alliance. During Simon’s 20 years as an MD, the businesses and people he led consistently delivered profitable growth ahead of the market. Top line growth that enhanced bottom line and ROI. If you would like Simon to support you in mitigating or reducing your manufacturing risks, you can request his one-on-one support via our coaching and mentoring offer here.

When you invest in leadership and management development, you want to see executive training that provides results, such as improved decision-making, better communication, and increased productivity. Yes, you want to be treated well during training programmes, and good sandwiches are part of it, as is having a bit of fun, but you need to see results.

You want executive training that makes a tangible difference. We hear you.

manufacturing leadership

There are plenty of leadership and management courses you can go along to yourself or invest in your team to attend, but what should you look for? Does the price reflect how good the training will be? Not always. Do you need to go to a college or university to get the best training? Sometimes, but this can also be quite academic. Is manufacturing leadership different from other sectors? Yes, we find it is.

The manufacturing world is constantly evolving, as are the people we employ in the sector, which means executive training and management skills are changing too. Our Manufacturing Leadership and Management Courses deliver tangible results. The manufacturing leaders and managers who attend our courses change their behavior for the better, and the manufacturing business sees results.

So, what are we doing that lends itself to improved manufacturing leadership?

Here are a few of the key ingredients we include in a good executive training programme:

Tangible Business Benefits. We start with the end in mind and set an intention at the beginning as to what we want the benefit to be for the manufacturing business you are leading. We specialise in the manufacturing sector, so understand the niche needs of the business and tailor the training to suit your needs.

Clarity of Learning and Development Needs. We assess up front the strengths and weaknesses of the people we work with and set out a plan to improve the management skills that will benefit the person and the business most. As we only work with manufacturing businesses, we see a lot of trends in the types of leaders and managers employed in the sector.

Experiential Learning. We don’t use PowerPoint slides and focus on leaders and managers learning by doing. We find that this is far more engaging, and executives retain more knowledge when engaging in training in this way. Who wants to sit for hours through someone droning on through a set of slides?

Modern Psychology. Organisational psychology is constantly evolving and changing as a learning organisation ourselves, we like to work with the latest research and techniques that work in today’s environment. Things that were taught in business schools thirty years ago, don’t all work in today’s manufacturing environment, or land well with the people we work with.

Sharing of Best Practice. Our training programmes are designed and delivered to provide you with modern best practice for leadership and management development. Our facilitators have a lot of knowledge and wisdom in their areas of expertise, but they don’t know everything, and will often ask delegates on a programme to share best practice if they have something that is going to benefit the whole group. This can be something the person or the business is doing, or even a link to a brilliant podcast, book or article. Sharing is caring.

Coach You to Success. Our whole facilitation and training team are experienced coaches and know when to hone in on topic or personal development area that needs nudging along for the person on the training course. They will work at a pace that suits the individual and guide them through the sessions.

Small Group Sizes. We work with a maximum of nine people on an executive training programme. To meet the needs of the people and to deliver the value explained above, we need our facilitators to be able to build relationships with everyone in the group. This becomes impossible when you work with huge groups and people get lost between the cracks.

We hope this has provided some insight into how you can best train and develop modern executives in your manufacturing business. We are here to help you with your management training needs, so do reach out if we don’t have a programme that suits you and your business yet. We are always open to developing something new.

What skills should you be looking for in a modern manufacturing leader?

We work with hundreds of manufacturing leaders each year and have a good understanding of what is working well in today’s environment, and what doesn’t. We have compiled a simple questionnaire to help you assess your own leadership style and whether you match up to the needs of a modern manufacturing leader. It will only take you two minutes to complete and will provide an instant report tailored to you.

Click here to assess yourself against our Modern Manufacturing Leadership scorecard.