Talking anything but cobblers - Timpson's owner to give free talk at Leeds Beckett
The event will take place at 5.30pm to 7pm on Tuesday 12 April at the University’s Rose Bowl, City Campus.
As the UKs leading retail service provider of shoe and watch repairs, key cutting, engraving and specialist locksmith services, John credits Timpson’s success to ‘upside down management’, a business philosophy that gives employees complete autonomy to deliver great customer service. John explained: “Through our unique approach we give our colleagues total authority to do whatever they can to amaze our customers. If we make a mistake, then we can put it right there and then without the need to speak with a manager. We trust our colleagues to run our business as they see fit.
“I am really looking forward to speaking to ACCA members and the general public at Leeds Beckett. I will be sharing with them how ‘upside down management’ has turned the way the business is run on its head and the lessons I have learnt in the process; from dealing with stress and breaking the rules to following my conscience.”
Born in 1943 and educated at Oundle School in Northamptonshire and the University of Nottingham, John completed a six month Graduate Training Scheme with C & J Clark at Street before joining the family footwear business, William Timpson Limited, in 1970.
In 1983, following the acquisition of Timpson’s in 1973 by the UDS Group, John led a £42m management buyout, bringing Timpson’s once again back into the family fold. Since then the company has grown and diversified, acquiring other UK shops and concessions, including Sainsbury’s concessions, Minit UK and Max Spielman. Timpson’s currently operate over 1,400 branches nationwide, turning over £150m annually with profits of over £10m.
In addition, John is the author of several books, including Dear James, which passes on to his son the lessons learned from 25 years as a Chief Executive. He is also a regular contributor to the Daily Telegraph and a public speaker.
Paul Houghton, Principal Lecturer in Accounting, Finance and Economics at Leeds Beckett, commented: “John’s business ethics are unquestionable and the longevity of success achieved by Timpson’s is testament to his ‘upside down management’ philosophy.
“After four decades running his family business he really knows what works and what doesn’t. There’s a lot of hot air in the world of business, John, however, speaks a lot of common sense. He is an insightful and inspirational leader.”
Founded in 1904, the ACCA is the global body for professional accountants. It offers business-relevant, first-choice qualifications to people of application, ability and ambition around the world who seek a rewarding career in accountancy, finance and management. For more information visit www.accaglobal.com.
The full list of talks in the series is:
‘Upside Down Management’ – John Timpson CBE, Chairman of Timpson Ltd. Tuesday 12 April.
‘Leeds: The City of Collaboration’ – Allison Page, Partner, DLA Piper and member of the Two Percent Club. Tuesday 26 April.
‘Governance – A Necessary Evil or a Driver of Performance?’ – Alex Simpson, General Counsel, Company Secretary and Chief Ethics officer, ASDA. Tuesday 10 May (8.30am to 10pm).