Upside Down Management

We discovered a much better way to manage the business.

Several years ago, I realised the only way to provide truly great customer service is to trust our customer-facing colleagues with the freedom to serve customers the way they know best. This meant turning our management structure upside-down. In doing so, we discovered that not only had we improved the way we serve our customers, but a much better way to manage the business.

The following section of pages from our ‘Upside-down Pocket Book’ shows how we work, if you want to know more, copies of the book are available from our web shop.


We trust branch colleagues to do whatever they believe will give an amazing service: They can change prices, they can invent new displays and they can pay up to £500 to settle a complaint.

We All Do it Our Way

Upside Down Management applies to everyone at Timpson. We all have the authority to find the best way to do our jobs.

No Orders!

Great leaders don't issue orders they manage by helping team members do a great job.

Only Pick the Best

Always pick people with personality, we must have a business full of characters who rate 9 or 10 out of 10.

Interview Technique

Let the person who is best at picking people do the interviews and make sure they use our Mr Men Form.

Goodbye to Drongos

If you don't deal with drongos you will affect performance and find your team more difficult to manage. Drongos rarely improve. Help them find their happiness elsewhere as soon as possible.

Substitutes Bench

Even when you have no vacancies keep interviewing. Build a waiting list of 9s and 10s ready to replace anyone who has to leave.

Part as Friends

We don't like the legal red tape that surrounds employment. Colleague Support keeps the paperwork straight and will help say goodbye to drongos as quickly, as nicely and generously as possible.

Ignore Best Practice

Business is not a process. It can't be run by a set of rules. Personality, initiative, invention and taking your chances are the secrets of success. Mavericks make more money than methodical managers.

Look the Part

We only have two rules: 1) Look the part and 2) Put the money in the till. Maintain our standards. Being properly dressed with a tie, badge and no stubble are compulsory. Keep our shops tidy.

Don't Walk Past a Problem

Poor standards and cries for help should be dealt with straight away.

The Upside Down Pocket Book

This book is available to buy now at the Timpson Webshop.

My Shop

Hello to all our wonderful customers, my name is Steve and I have worked for the Timpson family for 30 years. I'm here to help with anything you need, or any challenge you give me. I do like a challenge as I work with my colleagues daily!