The Manchester Family

Today’s headlines of the North West Insider Bulletin reads – Leese stresses importance of ‘family’ ties. This was one of the core themes of yesterday’s Manchester Economic Forum. What a great job the Sir’s Howard and Richard have done in placing Manchester as the UK’s second city. The City has a brand that spans every corner of the globe and the investment attracted and regeneration projects completed must be applauded – a fantastic job. The work on the graphene hub also provides bags of excitement for the Region.

My concern lie at the heart of how the Manchester Family can be perceived – can it portray an image of “closed shop”. This particularly relates to business support in the Greater Manchester Region. Every aspect of Manchester is world-class – however its business support infrastructure is outdated and out of touch with the real needs of growth SME’s. The Business Growth Hub needs passionate leadership that reflects the needs of the coal face, not world domination and self interest.

Still some work to be done here!

15 Responses to The Manchester Family

  1. Nancy Dykins says:

    Well said John. Like you I had mixed feelings at this news piece this morning. ‘Never has it been more important’… uttered by those who want to be important? Let’s hope they DO put the business needs well before any individual glory & recognition. These words will mean something when their actions have been delivered as passionately! OK – off soap box. And breath!

  2. Phil Cowper says:

    I agree with your comments and I fully support all that is being done in Manchester at a strategic, policy and marketing level. However to my mind any future success in business support services will only come from those individuals involved showing a real passion to help SME`s, talking face to face with business owners and managers, gaining their trust, establishing what their real business issues are, and then….DELIVERING tailored support directly to the point of impact.
    As you know from being involved, the key to the success and enjoyment that I had, leading the Tameside Business Family to national recognition, was in truth all about COMMUNICATION AT THE COAL FACE…..why can others not see the light?

    Let`s hope it is not just words and the that people in charge deliver!

  3. Oli Randell says:

    On a parallel subject, I have long endorsed the fabulous collaborative mindset of Manchester & the North West. I have certainly not found this to be the case in other parts of the UK where competition is a more readily used phrase!

    There may be overlap in the work we do, but if we leave our collaborative cap on I firmly believe there are opportunities for all to succeed!!

  4. Geoff Balfour says:

    Nice one John, Iron fist in a velvet glove…ouch…and you’re absolutely right…keep going with your insights…they are straight from the gut and as in “Blink” (Malcolm Gladwell) usually spot on.

  5. Jimbo says:

    The challenge for all regions is to deliver service without the bureaucracies of the past. Has anyone really missed the demise of Business Link? The last thing this family need is son of Business Link.

    Artificial and complex self-supporting structures stifle innovation, fresh ideas and best value.

    Sometimes the old guard no matter how big or well connected they are politcally need to move out the way and let the real private sector pick up the challenge.

    We’re ready to go,

  6. An excellent contribution to the debate we should be having about the future of business support. Whilst everything else in the world of business is changing, in this area, some people seem to think it can stay the same. It can’t! Even in the ‘boom’ years the appointed agencies largely failed to deliver. In more challenging times, we need to have an open and honest discussion about how we can create a dynamic business support offer fit for purpose for the 21st Century.

  7. Thanks John. So much of went before seems wasteful and box ticking – this is a massive once in a generation chance to be relevant and useful. The numbers of people starting businesses is rocketing – it may be forced upon some of them – but it could sweep a new broom through society.

    • johnleachwp says:

      Thanks MT – as always you delivered a great event, professional and challenging. So much about Manchester is brilliant but equally some bits need to change, rapidly – business support. As you say the number of new starts is rocketing and they need help, these are the stars of tomrw. Just hope the powers that be see what non sense is being talked about at the moment – cant believe that so many have fell for it – BBC, FT……

  8. Dave Adamson says:

    Your right to take this position John, having sat on various strategic boards it sometimes feels we have to ask permission to do business. The private sector will just get on with things and get it done. A late 60’s pilot in Sheffield for Pay for TV was successful but needing permission to role out across the UK, the government deemed it not viable and refused – Rupert Murdock did it from outside the UK and proved them all wrong. The super casinos would have been built was it not for refusal of licences and thousands of jobs created, the private sector would have just got on with it. Maybe its time businesses did a deal and ask government to stay out of businesses and in return we promise not to get involved in politics..

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