Events - ideas, discussion and debate


Insights and experience

Our collective experience is captured in a library of publications – including 6 books, 19 briefing notes and a series of synopses. We share these freely and invite you to tap into our knowledge. Print editions of most documents are available on request.

We share these freely and invite you to tap into our knowledge.

Our collective experience is captured in a library of publications We share these freely and invite you to tap into our knowledge.

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Home Truths

Focus, simplicity and managerial control

Home Truths - Focus, simplicity and managerial control

Some insights drawn from fifty years of management

Physicists hold on to a number of ‘universal constants’.
They are fixed and reliable – things that you can build
on. Collinson Grant’s ‘Home Truths’ provide a similar
ound platform for businesses and the world of work. First derived in the late 1980s and building on our direct observations of how companies are run and how managers behave, they attempt to capture some dependable thinking on management, profit, costs and people.

1. Profit should always be the first charge against sales. This determines the costs that the business can

2. Any business that does not constantly emphasise profit will ultimately make a loss.

3. Any organisation, system, procedure or individual left undisturbed for three years will become inefficient.

4. Managers should treat all overhead costs as variable. If volumes fall, overheads should be cut: if volumes
rise, overheads should be held.

5. People tend to elaborate rather than simplify their work.

6. Human resources functions (tend to) cluster on tasks that have a minimal impact on profitability.

7. Any activity managed only on technical criteria will be unprofitable.

8. The optional extras demanded by people can double the costs and timescale for any development.

Home Truths are neither universal nor exhaustive. They were used in early managerial briefings for senior executives at Hanson PLC.

There are many ways to skin a cat. One of our earliest clients, a successful entrepreneur in the USA and UK, cited four similar managerial ‘tenets’ in his memoirs. We have found these to be useful also:

  • 'decentralisation' – empower managers by pushing responsibility down to the line level, that is, the profit centre level
  • 'return on investment' – apply this measure almost to the exclusion of other metrics or ratios
  • 'systems and procedures' – with a decentralised model ensure there are formalised policies and operating procedures, accompanied by regular internal audits
  • 'profit sharing' - profit centre managers should share in the profits realised after they have paid an investment charge to the owner of the assets they are managing. And then have the discretion to further distribute profit to other workers in the business.

CG Interim | Search

Interim management and executive search

CG Interim | Search - Executive Talent Specialists

We have been working with clients to plan their people and skills agenda for more than forty years. We help them to recruit new talent (permanent or interim), to engage and retain good people, to manage those people better and plan for the future.

CG Interim Search has a skilled executive talent team but also direct access to Collinson Grant’s long-standing and broad business expertise. This wider understanding of our clients' operational priorities allows us to select only the best interim candidates and tailor our recruitment services to support their wider business objectives as well as fulfilling more short term needs.

We work with organisations throughout the UK and internationally, providing senior managers, subject matter experts and candidates with hard to find skills. Typically we recruit for board level appointments, senior executives and managers in Human Resources, Finance, Operations, Supply Chain and Procurement, Technology and Digital functions.

The CG Interim Search team works with clients to support talent pooling, executive search and succession planning as well as providing experienced interim managers for short term projects. Our interim managers support clients on a broad range of assignments and projects; they are proven leaders who achieve long term and lasting results. Some 80% of interim contracts are extended or result in offers of permanent employment.

To find out more go to CG Interim Search

Our webinars

While we can't meet you in person we are running webinars. These are available on our YouTube channel

Our YouTube channel is here

  • 8th April 2020 - Planning for the new normal:
    restructuring - lessons learned from 50 years - slides
  • 23rd April 2020 - Planning for the new normal:
    digital thinking - different ways of working and
    behaving - slides
  • 14th May 2020 - Planning for the new normal: productivity - how bad is it, and how can we respond? - slides
  • 2nd June 2020 - Planning for the new normal: the working day - slides
  • 5th August 2020 - Planning for the new normal: where next with organisational design - slides

Client Stories

Enduring relationships with business leaders

CG Interim | Search - Executive Talent Specialists

The partnerships we form with senior people help us prosper in challenging times and grow in better times. Some of our first clients from 40 years ago remain with us today. Whatever the economic outlook our relationships endure, built on the trust forged by understanding every

issue and opportunity facing the managers we work with. Our collective experience is set out below.

Featured stories

Global Reach

Our staff with clients at Polestar's printing plant in Hungary

Our consultancy experience covers clients in continental Europe, North America and further afield

We have helped their managers in assignments to
restructure businesses, improve productivity, reduce
costs and manage people better. Doing things in
different countries always presents new challenges.
We work hard to understand cultural differences and
ensure that they contribute to rather than obstruct managerial objectives.

Our consultants can harness the capabilities of multi-national management teams to achieve outstanding results in demanding situations. They are supported by an administrative group able to work fluently in French and German.

For example, see these case studies for a taste of what we do outside the UK:

  • Belgium – balancing manufacturing capacity
  • France – improving profitability, interim management and restructuring
  • Germany – due diligence, improving operations, relocation and reducing costs
  • Hong Kong – matching costs to demand and improving the supply chain
  • Italy – creating a manufacturing strategy, HR due diligence Netherlands – integrating European subsidiaries
  • North America – restructuring and operational controls
  • Poland – reducing complexity in manufacturing
  • Scandinavia – restructuring and reducing costs
  • South Africa – analysing costs and improving productivity.

Private Equity

Our staff with a client at Northgate Vehicle Hire

Managing companies in difficult situations - on behalf or Private Equity owners

Investments don’t govern themselves; active ownership is the answer.

Collinson Grant has been working with private equity for more than thirty years. There are few professional

services companies with both the broad range of skills and the track record to provide tailored solutions for private equity investments.

We have the specialist managerial, recruitment, consultancy and legal skills to complete thorough initial analyses, plan radical actions and then to implement a holistic overhaul of a company. We take full executive control, make key appointments to manage and direct the business, improve performance rapidly with focused consultancy - in a way that a new CEO could never manage on his or her own.

Our experience and resources allow us to provide a package of four supporting pillars to improve results in the investment:

  • Strategic direction and control - we can place two to three senior colleagues, each with established, successful backgrounds as interim managers, in key executive positions

  • Focused improvement projects - our consultancy team leads specific projects targeted at growing sales, reducing costs, and implementing organisational change

  • Recruitment – we can source and place dynamic new managers into the business, to replace our interims, once the required changes have been implemented

  • Legal and human resources – where relevant, we would handle redundancy programmes, revise terms and conditions of employment and introduce more effective HR processes.