Telling the truth about SME life today

Name: Jim Green

Age: 57

Company: Burton’s Biscuit Company

Turnover: £350m

First job: My first job was as a design engineering graduate for John Crane in Slough, designing high-tech mechanical parts for the petro/chemical industry. Frightening responsibility at the time, as if the design was even slightly incorrect, the consequences could be devastating. I left before any mistakes (if there were any) came to light.

Dream job: Chief financial officer at the MOD. Crack a few heads and save a few ?bn.

Car: Mercedes CLS quiet, powerful and sleek, but a b**ch to park.

Economy, business or first class: Usually economy (it’s inbred for accountants), although I go first-class on trains sometimes in the rush hour if I need to work.

Most extravagant purchase: Caran dAche gold pen, which cost £350, several years ago. It’s left at home now as I?m too frightened I?ll lose it!

Most-played song on your iPod: Currently “Tower Crane Driver” by Elbow.

Best business book: Managing at the Speed of Change by Daryl Conner. I found the book really useful while leading a business process re-engineer and SAP ERP implementation several years ago. It”helped me understand people’s natural disposition towards change and how this can be best managed.

Worst business moment: Turning up for work at a new company as assistant accountant, aged 26,?only to discover that in the three months between me accepting the job and turning up, the division of the company (and my job) didn?t exist anymore. They took me anyway.

Proudest business moment: Winning the Private Company FD of the Year gong at the FDs’ Excellence Awards last year ranks pretty high.

Your business mentor: The general manager in my first role, who always took the time to coach and support the people he cared for. I’ve tried to follow his commitment and approach in my career over the years.

Next big thing: Electric cars that steer themselves so I can do other things when in the car.


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