The main difference between our most successful companies and those not fulfilling their potential is where the structure and culture is inappropriate, like where one manager is expected to supervise too large a geographical area


A man with a passion: James Boddice of Midland Classic.

A company must respect three key groups of people to survive in business: customers, staff and shareholders. For bus companies, that is the three Ps: passengers, people and profit. But which is the most important of the three? When I used to ask that question, the answer depended who I asked. A group of passengers would all quickly reply ‘it’s the passenger’. Ask trade union representatives or staff members and they would usually chirp up, ‘it’s the staff’. Ask the question at a board meeting, and the directors would inevitably reply, ‘it’s the shareholders’.

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