Empowering Your Teams and the Importance of Knowledge Sharing – A.N. Richards

Joanne Cook

A.N. Richards are very proud to be a family run business. Originally established in 1962 by Arthur Neville and Dorothy Richards, the company continues to be run by their son Bryn, wife Rose and granddaughter Johanna.

They have been operating on their current site for over 40 years and are an authorised 5 star MAN Truck & Bus UK franchise, providing a one-stop service, from new and used vehicle sales & Hire, to genuine parts, servicing and maintenance.

Johanna Cooke, Company Secretary at A.N Richards said:

“I am the company secretary and started out with my accounts background, with a view to helping with the management accounts side of the business. ”

“When I started there were lots of different avenues the company needed help with and as a MAN dealership we also had to ensure standards were met.”

Peer to Peer Learning

“Being in a family business can be very lonely.  You only have your family members as a sounding board and sometimes there is a fear that you are getting things wrong, and that you may be going in the wrong direction.”

“I was recommended the programme by a particularly good customer of ours, Caroline from Platts Animal Bedding.  20Twenty came at the right time for me, as it is quite difficult when you are related to the other managers in a family company.”

Leadership Coaching

“It was fantastic. The number one thing is meeting like-minded people and to realise that I’m not the only person feeling the struggles and strains that come with running a family business.”

“That is because everything is so personal and you care about the staff, as well as having a huge care of responsibility to both the staff and the community.”

“The biggest lesson I learnt was that it was not my personal responsibility to make sure everybody was happy.”

“Everybody in the room [20Twenty] was going through the same thing as me.  We learnt about coaching strategies, leadership techniques and also learnt and understood more about ourselves and how we can take that forward, to be the best we can possible be.”

The Importance of Knowledge Sharing

“The key thing that I took away was to utilise all the ‘brains within our business’.  I think when I started on the 20Twenty course we had 36 employees, we are now up to 48.  We have doubled in size over the last 16 years. The key thing that I took away at the time, was there were 36 brains within the company, use all of them!”

“Which means every day, whatever situation I am faced with, I can speak to everybody. It sounds simple, but it is something we did not do before.  So, I made sure that communication improved, by getting everybody involved.”

“I make sure I’m present and have an open-door policy, but not just for them to speak to me, it is also for me to ask for their opinions, which is a huge weight off my shoulders.  Because, I do not need to have all the answers and there are plenty of people within my business that have the answers.”

“I would recommend the programme to anyone who needs to sharpen their leadership skills and grow their business. I want to do it again! ”

“It’s literally changed the way I viewed working in a family business.  It went from being too stressful, thinking I can’t do this, I haven’t got the ability to this, to thinking I absolutely can do this!”

“It wasn’t as scary as I was making things out to be and from the many things I learnt, which are too many to count, it has have made my life nice and a lot easier.”