Case Study: Out of Eden – Succession and Ownership Development

Out of Eden is an £8m turnover hospitality consumables business based in Cumbria and Fife, founded over 20 years ago by Ian and Janet Hartley.

The business started in a small way from the founders’ home and is now based in a purpose built £1m building on the outskirts of Kirkby Stephen in the beautiful Eden Valley, Cumbria. Out of Eden is the town’s largest private employer.

Objective of the Work

The objective was to work with the management team of the business to resolve the forward direction of the business, including particularly management and ownership succession.

The Outcomes

1) Clarity on what the shareholders really wanted for the business.

2) The appointment of a new Managing Director, management structure, and governance framework to allow the Founders to step away from day-to-day management.

3) A plan for long-term management and ownership succession.

The Approach

The following approach was adopted:

  • We developed a programme for identifying and addressing the issues in the business, including individual wants for each Director and the needs and issues of the business.
  • SEL and the four Directors met once a month in a face-to-face session at Kirkby Stephen, to work through the issues together.
  • SEL supported, coached, facilitated and developed the outputs with the Directors, converting the conclusions as appropriate into the requisite vision, objectives, strategies and action plans.
  • SEL supported the Directors in taking their decisions forward, such as the selection and adoption of head-hunters etc.

“Ian and I are very thankful for your wisdom and experience…. you have a gift for helping to think things through but most of all for keeping the team focused.”            

Janet Hartley – Founding Director, Out of Eden