In a recent edition of Britain’s The Parliamentary Review, an annual publication released to coincide with the beginning of the British parliamentary year, Legitimate Leadership’s model was mentioned with approval.
The Parliamentary Review strives to provide a comprehensive summary of the past year and a reliable template for the year to come for British lawmakers.
Each of the publication’s twelve separate editions focuses on a key governmental policy area, with leading organisations and executives sharing personal insights and discussing good practice alongside government ministers.
One feature in the Manufacturing Edition of this year’s The Parliamentary Review focused on Cherrytree Bakery of Lancashire.
Cherrytree Bakery was founded by Gary Entwistle and others in 1984. Its initial product was a Fruit Slice – a currant-filled pastry, sold through various retailers. The second product was a Chorley Cake – a shortcrust pastry with a dried fruit filling, which became the company’s foundation product.
In 1987, the company moved to its current, modern manufacturing unit to produce own-label products of the highest technical standards.
However Cherrytree Bakery’s real sea-change came in 2004 with a resolution to increase innovation and investment and change the management structure. At the heart of this change was a vision for the business “to be a great place of work, making great products, for great customers”, Entwistle says in the publication. In short, this was about core values of “caring about what we do and the way we do it”, he says.
By 2012, Cherrytree Bakery’s annual turnover had grown to £7.6 million, on the back of a number of successful new product launches and ventures. Included in these has been a new venture with Nandos, the chicken restaurant franchise.
Entwistle says, “As well as creating economic prosperity, providing jobs, paying taxes, and adding value by the goods and services they create, businesses are in a unique position to address particular social and welfare needs. Success at Cherrytree has allowed the business to extend its positive reach beyond just the local community to further afield. It has funded the building of a school in Ethiopia, in a remote coffee growing area that produces the commodity that is beneficial to our society and our own business interests.”
Entwistle says: “The next phase in the company’s journey is to continue to expand and attract new customers while maintaining true to the culture and core values of the organisation. A chance meeting with Wendy Lambourne, the South African author of the book ‘Legitimate Leadership’, has recently introduced the business to the ‘Care and Growth Model’ of Leadership. This has resonated with me, both confirming and challenging many of my own beliefs regarding leadership and supporting the creation of an enterprising culture. With the next generation coming through, thoughts turn to leaving an appropriate legacy that will continue to ensure that Cherrytree remains ‘a great place to work making great products for great customers’.”