Richard Reed, An Innovative Leader? Guilty As Charged!

13Mar Richard Reed, An Innovative Leader? Guilty As Charged!


Saw Richard Reed, one of the founders of the very successful Innocent Drinks, speak last night. Absolutely wonderful, and very insightful. I could write for ages about all the stuff he talked about, so I’ll try and summarise some of the key points:

1. Keep the main thing, the main thing – this is about having a clear and simple sense of purpose, ensuring that everyone in the business understands this and how they contribute to it.

2. Make money….and make a difference – 10% of all Innocent’s profits are donated to charity. He emphasised very much that it’s all about profit and he made no bones about ensuring that Innocent look for, encourage and reward commercially focussed people.innocent-richard-reed3

3. It’s about people – every one of their employees gets something, those that contribute the most, get the most. Richard talked about getting people ‘on the bus’ and to help this happen, Innocent have an incredible number of initiatives and rewards that promote and reinforce the values of the business – here are some details on their website. He also talked about getting people ‘off the bus’ too – that means dealing with people who haven’t ‘bought in’ to what they are trying to achieve.

4. Take care of the details – it’s about the little things, getting ideas from ‘anywhere and everywhere’. A simple example is on the top of Innocent bottles rather than saying  ‘use by….’ it says ‘enjoy by……’.

5. Open Up, Listen Up – that means being ‘porous’ to your customers, encouraging and listening to customers to feedback and tell you what they really think. The ‘Banana phone’ , advertised on the bottles, is the direct line to Innocent that anyone can ring. If the ‘customer service’ guys don’t answer it in 3 rings, EVERY phone in the office rings!!!

It was all great stuff, and to demonstrate his openness, he invited us all to drop in and visit them all at Innocent Towers at any time!

A fantastic example of developing and leading a successful business? Richard Reed of Innocent Drinks – Guilty as charged!


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