With a small senior team, Bedford-based nutritionists Beezee Bodies found it difficult to judge the “tipping point” – the number of contracts it could manage with the current infrastructure. The changing landscape in public health meant councils were starting to shift from smaller individual contracts to larger integrated tenders requiring more work.
The company needed to ensure senior team members had the capacity to focus on business growth, without compromising on quality or staff experience.
Beezee Bodies began its fix by overhauling the way it approached planning. The company started with a flat structure, because it would provide a sense of fairness and equality. However, knowing how much of the business was subject to drastic change and threat made team members anxious, so the company handed more autonomy to key people.
The next step was to work with business experts to help focus the company’s goals. CEO Stu King took advice about best practice for business planning and then worked it into the Beezee Bodies brand to create a purpose-driven vision.
Beezee Bodies created a playbook for its operations manager’s day-to-day responsibilities. This freed up time for her to develop as a manager and focus on team engagement. The company also put together a central team to create systems for daily operations. Adding these processes has allowed senior management to focus on planning for the future.
According to King, the project has been “messy, difficult and, at times, confusing”. But there have also been moments where the new structure works well. With a central team in place, the firm is onboarding more people onto programmes with less senior involvement. The process has encouraged senior staff to hand over more responsibility to team members, which King described as “tricky but empowering”.
“It’s about finding the balance between your long-term vision and short-term priorities,” King explained. “We had to go through the process of ignoring some pretty urgent-sounding stuff and believe in the long-term vision instead. Keep your vision loose – not loose enough to change at every perturbation in the market, but loose enough that it can shift if you really need it to.”