Go onto the internet and search for ‘great business leaders’ and multiple names will show, many of them you may have heard of, read their books, or perhaps you’ve been lucky enough to have attended one of their seminars.
One name that is not likely to appear is David William Fox. However, having had the privilege to work with David for the best part of 20 years, I would consider him to be an ‘un-sung hero’ when it comes to leadership, particularly when it comes to UK manufacturing.
David was fortune to have been employed within the GE Group at a time when true business legends were born. The likes of the great (and sadly departed) Jack Welch for example. David’s direct mentor at that time was the ‘little heard of’ Jack Jameson, but the mentoring and guidance the he provided David at that point in his career was “priceless” and helped define David as a future business leader himself.
I started working with David in 2001, having joined the then PP Electrical Systems Ltd. as Sales & Marketing Director. Why did I join? Well, David’s vision for the business was compelling and I very much could buy into his vision of growth, not just at a business level but on a personal level also.
At that time, the business had a turnover of £4m and employed 36 people. It had a reputation for high quality products and David had learned tools and techniques from his time in Japan and working with a UK-Based Japanese machine tool manufacturer. ‘Kaizen’ philosophies were being implemented and the business was changing direction, in a very positive way.
The Japanese approach and learnings were critical, with focus not just on process but on people and culture. Later that year the company founded its own internal training school and employed Six Sigma ‘Black Belts’. David had come across Six Sigma some years earlier but had felt that it was too early in the company’s development to introduce – a wise move at the time. However, now the people were in place as well as the structures and processes.
David’s approach to group learning was pivotal – creating a book club and a shared learning environment that created ownership and accountability and actually accelerated the process. In no time at all, the business had further ‘raised the bar’ on quality across the organisation, to levels never seen within an SME environment.
The training school matured, core values were established, culture flourished, and the business grew year on year and passing the £20m threshold.
A clear focus on sales strategy had been developed over a number of years through David’s obsession with reading books on the subject, by combining what he considered to be the best elements of various consultative selling approaches. The company developed a compelling message and solution offering that resulted in numerous new, large global customers being won through a shared ‘win-win’ philosophy.
In short, David has a passion for people and a burning desire for success at all levels – whether as an advisor, consultant and coach, or at Non-Executive Director capacity. He has a wealth of practical experience, which in truth, money can’t buy. He has experienced recession and periods of high growth, so he is well placed to bring clarity of strategy to businesses that are either in recovery mode or positioned and ready for rapid expansion.
If you have the opportunity to work with David, count yourself fortunate – I certainly do.
I may state emphatically that any business that avails itself of this invaluable potential support can be considered truly fortunate. David Fox acquired his original very small business in 1979. In the intervening years, David has built up organically a hugely successful business with annual revenues approaching £25 ...
An ‘un-sung hero’ when it comes to leadership, particularly when it comes to UK manufacturing. Go onto the internet and search for ‘great business leaders’ and multiple names will show, many of them you may have heard of, read their books, or perhaps you’ve been lucky enough to ...
David’s experience of working first for the most successful industrial business in the world to developing a very successful world-class business of his own is both extremely wide-ranging and unique. Over a decade ago, when I was leading The National Skills Academy for Manufacturing, the Academy were sponsors ...