Posts Tagged ‘Heineken’

“Done it all before” versus a fresh perspective and sparkle

January 25, 2015

Bored Accountant

I left the accountancy practice because I knew I had gone stale, working on the same clients in the same environment and now I wanted to get stuck in and get more involved so I decided to move into industry.

I started with Moog, an American multinational at the age of 22 taking on the role of financial accountant, reporting into the financial controller.

I didn’t have experience of working for a multi-national before but I was a bright, enthusiastic qualified accountant looking for a new challenge.

For six months I was learning, soaking up this experience with fresh eyes and a new perspective and after that initial period I really got into gear and they got the best of me. The financial controller went off on maternity leave after I was there just over a year and I was asked to take on her role and mine – not a bother, I took it in my stride. When she came back I knew I couldn’t slip back to the supporting role so I looked for a new challenge.

I then took on the role of financial controller of a drinks wholesaler and manufacturer, a subsidiary of Guinness.

I didn’t have experience of working in the drinks sector before but I had worked in practice and I had been the financial controller in a large multinational. For six months I was learning and soaking up this experience with fresh eyes and a new perspective and after that they really got the best of me.

Music Store

After a few years in this role I was going stale, I was repeating myself and the job was more of the same. I had always wanted to start my own business and I loved music so I recruited a manager and opened a few music stores around the country while I still stayed working. I had never worked in the music industry before nor had I operated retail stores but I brought a fresh perspective and bucket loads of enthusiasm to this new experience.

Out of the blue I was asked if I was interested in the General Manager role, which I gladly accepted.

I didn’t have the experience of managing a large business but I was a bright, enthusiastic person with a good understanding of the company and I had a solid background in finance.

For six months I was learning, soaking up this experience with fresh eyes and a new perspective and after that period they really got the very best of me achieving the best results ever for the company.

Guinness

I then moved to Guinness in Dublin taking on a number of different roles, none of which I had done before bringing fresh eyes and a new perspective to all of them.

After three years I became the general manager of a subsidiary of Heineken bringing fresh eyes and a new perspective to the role. I really drove on the performance of the company but in truth I had done a similar role for the Guinness subsidiary and after three years I was getting bored and I should have moved on. I lasted two more years and left to join Deirdre Waldron at Fuzion, which has been brilliant.

Everyday in Fuzion we are faced with new situations and fresh challenges. We often work with new clients from different sectors and we achieve great results by bringing fresh eyes, new perspectives and enthusiasm and applying all of our collective experience and learnings to their challenges.

I have learned in my 32 years of working that to get the best of anyone in a role there must be some element of a challenge in it, something new the whole time that keeps them challenged, fresh, inspired and motivated and at the top of their game.

I have also learned that after a while of doing the same thing over and over people will get stale as that sense of challenge disappears. Despite having all of the experience and knowledge a big opportunity will be lost by not handing over the mantle to someone who knows less but has a sparkle, a freshness, a hunger and a desire to learn and take on a new challenge.

The next time you are choosing someone for a role or you are putting your project out for contract try to resist the safe temptation of going with the person or the company that have “done it all before” and instead look for the fresh perspective and grab that sparkle.

Greg Canty 

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion who offer Marketing, PR and Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork, Ireland

Career changing photographs

April 6, 2014

Tommy Doyle, High Court Case against Guinness

I walked out the door of the High Court with my good friend, Tommy Doyle and out jumped a photographer.

Before I knew it Tommy put his arm around me and “snap” the photo was taken, which appeared in national newspapers the following day as they covered Tommy’s high profile High Court case against Guinness, which had been settled on the day.

This court case was very high profile with the media as Tommy Doyle was a former Kerry GAA star with seven All-Ireland medals and here he was taking on the might of Guinness in a constructive dismissal case with strong suggestions of a price fixing cartel, which was a potential time bomb for the industry.

When I was General Manager of a Guinness subsidiary in Cork, Deasy & Co., Tommy was our very brilliant sales manager and a really great guy to work with. You could see all of those motivational traits and steely determination which brought him huge success on the field transferring to the business arena.

To this day Tommy is the very best sales/relationship manager I have come across.

After I left Deasy’s to take a senior role with Guinness things fell apart with the management of Deasy’s and Tommy. In my view the wrong person was put in charge of the company and instead of working with Tommy he put the boot in and they clashed immediately. I believe they tried to force Tommy out but they underestimated his steely determination to hang in there.

A super effort eventually broke him, which led to a serious bout of sickness and the court case, which was eventually heard the day of this photo.

Unfortunately for Tommy he became one of the most hated man in the drinks industry because of the court case.

On the day of the court case Tommy’s solicitor had summoned nearly every senior player in the drinks industry as witnesses around this price fixing issue. Needless to say this colossal time bomb was of huge concern to Guinness and all other industry players, which they would really want disarmed.

I was at the court case on the day because I was also summoned by Tommy’s solicitor. At the time I was doing well in my early days as General Manager of Nash Beverages, a subsidiary of Heineken. The nervousness was obvious with all of the industry heads who were there.

As the day progressed it was clear that Guinness were making a huge effort to kill this case and were prepared to settle. With my close relationship with Tommy and my good relationship with senior Guinness personnel I ended up being a go-between. Both sides were open to a settlement and this was quickly negotiated with everyone going home late in the afternoon.

This was a huge day for Tommy and when the settlement was agreed he asked would I stay in Dublin for a bite to eat and a chance to chill out.

I decided it was the right thing to do and felt it was ok not to attend a Heineken conference later that evening.

Out we walked and “snap“…that photograph.

The following day the picture appeared in the national newspapers who covered the case and I was politely told in a few quarters that appearing in “the photo” was a big mistake for me.

After that day I must admit I did feel a change of attitude towards me by senior management and a promising start seemed to turn cold despite my input that day, which resulted in a quick conclusion to a case that everyone was relieved with.

Ultimately maybe friendship and loyalty is a better choice than keeping up appearances and other people happy?

Greg Canty

Greg Canty is a Partner of Fuzion who offer Marketing, PR and Graphic Design services from our offices in Dublin and Cork