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And the Kiwi channel says Dove, Dove, Dove...

By Heather Wright, Fri 27 Jun 2014
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Personal glory isn't the Dove Electronics way.

But general manager Chris Rycroft breaks the rules to talk to Heather Wright – albeit about the company, teamwork, changes, and even a little about himself.

Talking about himself doesn't come easily to Dove Electronics general manager Chris Rycroft.

In a company which steers away from 'personal glory' – such as general manager interviews, Rycroft quips dryly – and instead focuses on the team, this boss leads by example.

But he's happy to talk about the company he's been at the helm of for 20 years, its 'pretty stable 60 staff' (“Only one or two are unstable at any given time,” Rycroft jokes), culture and the company's future.

The desire to steer away from personal glory is just one aspect of Dove's belief in the importance of 'team'.

Rycroft says the company also steers away from having a strict heirachical structure and doesn't have assistants, supervisors, team leaders or titles.

Meetings and anything that 'harbours politics or inefficiencies' are also out and the sales team isn't paid on commission, with the company instead believing everyone contributes to outcomes and therefore all are entitled to the benefits through a company-wide bonus scheme.

“We have a very cooperative environment. If one area gets busy, people from all areas help out.

"Different parts of the organisation communicate and work together, for example sales teams and accounts work together to make sure we deliver the best outcomes for customers.

"No one runs around screaming at someone to do something,” he says, before being unable to resist adding: “apart from the unstable ones!”

It's all part, he says, of creating a positive, enjoyable environment where 'we reach good positive outcomes on a consistent basis'.

“It's really that we create an environment that allows all people to have a sense of ownership in what they do, and understand the goals and inter-relationships of what they do.”

“We want where possible for the decision makers to be the front line, and for those people to be confident and competent in those decisions. With the right structure, pretty much any role will create a sense of satisfaction.”

Enjoyment, too, is key.

“It's important to have an environment where people enjoy themselves. And why wouldn't you? It doesn't cost more.

“It's not something I have to factor into day to day thinking. But we try not to contribute to anyone having a bad day."

Ask Rycroft what the driver behind Dove is and his reply is swift and straightforward: “We enjoy being in business.

“For the most part we are driven by our customers' requirements, our desires to run a profitable, sustainable business that enjoys good relationships and, where possible, we try to meet our suppliers expectations.

“We enjoy being an employer. I can say we are not driven to be bigger, or to make the most money, or to be sold, we just enjoy doing what we do, so we try to make sure we'll be able to do it for the foreseeable future.”

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