Martin Hurworth: Managing Director
Harvey managing director - defining the post-Brexit blueprint for British manufacturing
Martin Hurworth is leading Harvey Water Softeners through a pivotal moment in UK history. The vote for Brexit will bring new opportunities and challenges for manufacturers, while the company’s modernisation programme and increased demand are both helping to sell more water softeners than ever. Martin is the best person to lead Harvey through the most exciting period in its 40-year history.
Transforming leadership through telling stories
Martin joined Harvey Water Softeners during a period of rapid growth in turnover and staff. An engineer by trade and originally appointed as technical director, he’s made sure that, as a business, Harvey is now better prepared than ever to be a leading manufacturer of the future. He believes that when it comes to leadership, storytelling is so much more powerful than simply telling. By using people’s imagination and adding colour, feelings and emotion into my stories - contrary to conventional business wisdom - and bringing real emotion and trust into every part of the business.
“Emotion has the power to help people do amazing work and be more fulfilled in their jobs every day. Long after your words are forgotten, it’s how you make people feel that really matters”
In the past two years production of water softeners has increased and staff expertise is higher than ever, while the Harvey factory is being transformed into a model production line.
Read more about research and development at Harvey.
Grown through uncertainty
The past decade has been volatile for the whole economy, from the banking crisis of 2008 to the years of austerity. Throughout it all, Harvey Water Softeners has kept on growing. The company has now posted eight consecutive years of growth, with sales rising by 110% in the last five years. No matter what uncertainties the future may bring, Harvey Water Softeners will continue to push the envelope.
Harvey Values and Martin’s modern leadership
When Martin became the first external MD of Harvey in 2015, he set out to futureproof the company culture. His aim was to make sure Harvey Bowden’s founding values would only get stronger as the business grew and continues to grow. He undertook a 100-day internal review, drawing on the expertise of the people who best know what it’s like working here; each and every members of staff. The result of this work was the Harvey Values, because he knew that if you get the right people, then the values will follow.
“The Harvey Values define our business. We created them by sharing good practice and experiences and listening to one another. They capture the kind of business we want to be, and they empower every member of staff to do the right thing, not the safe or the easy thing.”
The Harvey post-brexit blueprint
Manufacturers have a golden opportunity in the wake of Brexit. Those companies who will succeed in this new economic landscape will be the ones who have built their production around lean thinking and innovation; firms that design and build in this country and sell to the rest of the world.
“Businesses are confident about the future. Our sales keep going in the right direction; as far as we’re concerned, Brexit has been good for business."
The future of British manufacturing
“Bringing production processes back in-house or to the UK has to be an absolute priority in this brave new world. The flip side of uncertainty is new opportunity, in smarter, more efficient production.”
Setting the news agenda
Martin is frequently asked to speak to the press on the issues affecting manufacturers, as well as championing the rights of consumers in the home appliance market.