Experts from Durham Business School helped to compile this year’s Fastest 50. Research associate Paul Braidford and senior programme manager Richard Whitaker outline how the School is helping the region’s economy to grow.
A substantial part of our work at Durham Business School concerns enterprise, entrepreneurship and business development; how businesses get started, how they grow, what support they need from government, banks and other key stakeholders.
Often, we’re looking at the problems faced by these businesses, and trying to figure out the best way to help them expand and develop, but it is always heartening to look at the other end of the scale, and analyse the best and brightest companies in the North East.
So it is good to see such a wide and varied range of companies growing so rapidly, from old established names to new hopes for the future – this year’s list again shows the breadth and depth of the talent working in the region’s businesses.
In particular, many of the Fastest 50 are reminders of the North-East’s industrial heritage.
More than a few of the firms are in the engineering sectors, even some in offshore and marine engineering. But they have been transformed into far leaner, more hi-tech and service-oriented businesses than the shipbuilding firms that domin- ated the region’s riverside decades ago.
In these modern manufacturers, design is emphasised as much as actually putting things together – the key to success in the modern globalised economy is tapping into the knowledge economy, upping the quality rather than slashing prices and concentrating on ‘working better’ rather than ‘working harder’.
Durham Business School has long been associated with supporting fast-growing companies in the North-East. Managers in these companies are constantly facing new challenges in areas such as staff recruitment, company culture and internal processes. What worked when the company was a smaller entity may well not work as it grows.
A key element is the development of staff by way of management and business training – Executive Education.
Managers have to be sure of the strategic direction of the company over the short and medium term, and very importantly, this strategy has to be conveyed to all employees. The staff must be aware of how they fit in, and how they are contributing to the strategic vision.
Durham Business School supports managers at all levels, from the shop floor through to the boardroom with its comprehensive range of programmes.
The Business School delivers accredited qualifications not only from Durham University but also from the Chartered Management Institute and the Institute of Directors. Bespoke programmes are also developed to cover the specific circumstances of the organisation.
With the changing nature of North-East businesses, Durham Business School has seen the profile of its programme participants change from predominantly the manufacturing sector to include businesses from the service sector, the public sector and the not-for-profit sector.
This enhances the value of the programmes as the varied experiences of the delegates add much to the learning and development of the managers.
For further information on management development at Durham Business School contact Richard Whitaker on (0191) 334-5281 or email firstname.lastname@example.org