Obituary: John Harvey-Jones

I fondly remember my addiction to all things John Harvey-Jones in the early 90s.  The genre-starting Troubleshooter was essential viewing for anyone remotely interested in proper business.  His consultative successes soon racked up.  These included:

  • Apricot Computers were told to ditch hardware and focus solely on software; next year profits were best in 27 year history
  • Churchill Tableware should quadruple their design-spend and delegate executive responsibility;profits rose from £400,000 to £2 million in 12 months

Also refreshing, was his love of sales.  When his book Making It Happen recounts the two years spent selling during his formative ICI years, he insists that everyone in business must try their hand in a sales role at some stage.  How else could they claim to truly understand commerce?  A great comeback to have in your pocket methinks 🙂 How many Board members do you know that have ever held (let alone reached) a sales target?

One great aspect of his turnaround cases, was that he managed to distill into one simple sentence what the company must do to not only stem their decline, but prosper too.

I must resolve to dig out my copy of the excellent Making It Happen and read it once more….

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