University’s family business programme manager joins judging panel for the first North West Family Business Awards

Lancaster University’s Family Business Excellence Programme manager, Matt Hutchinson is joining the judging panel for the inaugural North West Awards for family businesses.

Matt said: “As Programme Manager for the Family Business Excellence Programme at Lancaster University Management School, I am working with family firms across the North West to tackle those seemingly unsolvable problems and build sustainable futures.

He added, “I have worked in and with family businesses since the age of 14. Having experienced life in both my own family business and as a non-family member in a wide range of businesses, I have seen it from both sides. As a judge, I’ll be focusing on excellence in three inter-related areas; leadership, change management and the next generation.

He described what he would look for in a good application, saying “I’ll be looking for strong leadership that fosters engagement and positive culture within the business. I’ll be looking for change management – both within and between generations. I’m obsessed with how organisations manage change and the impact of change on their people. It’s a dark art and very few people get it right. I’m really looking for proactivity and a focus on continuous improvement in how change is managed and led.”

‘With the Next Generation, it’s not relevant to all businesses all of the time, but when it is relevant, it’s vital to get it right! I’m interested in how the next gen are inducted, both into the company and into leadership roles. In firms where there is no next gen, I’ll look at other forms of succession planning.”

Founder and Co-Director of The Family Business Network, Sue Howorth said: “We are delighted to have Matt join the judging panel. His personal experience working in a family business and his work with the Family Business Excellence Programme at Lancaster University’s Management School make him the perfect judge for the North West Family Business Awards 2020.”

Co-Director of The Family Business Network, Dave Clarkson added: “Celebrating the successes of family businesses is important to us, to help raise the profile of the sector and champion those individuals involved. We were able to do this through the creation and running of the Cumbria Family Business Awards which have taken place annually since 2017. Many of the businesses who took part in the awards have told us how beneficial the process has been to their brand awareness, and business growth through their achievements being recognised.”

Dave added, “Now in 2020, we see these awards evolve into our inaugural North West Family Business Awards, which aim to provide an opportunity for North West family firms to share and celebrate their successes. Businesses can either be nominated or can enter themselves, however, you’ll have to act quickly as the closing date of 16 January 2020 is fast approaching. For companies looking to support and associate with the sector or simply be a part of the event, we offer a range of opportunities through partnership and sponsorship of the awards.”

Taking place on Friday 6th March, the awards will take off in true first-class style, under the wings of Concorde at The Manchester Airport Runway Visitor Park. Entries are open to businesses located in Manchester, Cheshire, Merseyside, Lancashire or Cumbria that have at least two family members working within them.