Green Haven case study

Case Study: Green Haven — Changed Values

Philip Cooper became the CEO of a small, family-owned plant nursery busin” rel=”nofollow”>iness called Green Haven,
which had been run by his father. He had taken over the rein” rel=”nofollow”>ins of the busin” rel=”nofollow”>iness about six months ago.
He came on board after his father, Adam Cooper, the founder of the busin” rel=”nofollow”>iness, retired due to illhealth.
Philip, who was 43 when he became the CEO, was an accountant by profession and had
worked at an accountin” rel=”nofollow”>ing firm sin” rel=”nofollow”>ince his graduation over 20 years ago. He was also familiar with the
busin” rel=”nofollow”>iness, especially sin” rel=”nofollow”>ince he had set up its accountin” rel=”nofollow”>ing system and helped the company accountant
whenever his expertise and knowledge was required.
Managin” rel=”nofollow”>ing his father’s busin” rel=”nofollow”>iness was very different from his work at the accountin” rel=”nofollow”>ing firm, but Philip
was very happy to make this career move as he felt very proud of his father’s busin” rel=”nofollow”>iness
achievements. Green Haven, which had started out as a small nursery in” rel=”nofollow”>in a leafy suburb of
Melbourne, had grown over the last 30 years to become a busin” rel=”nofollow”>iness that owned 11 nurseries across
different regions of Melbourne. It had taken Adam a lot of hard work over the years to expand his
busin” rel=”nofollow”>iness. Adam was very proud of the quality of the plants and seedlin” rel=”nofollow”>ings available at his nurseries.
He made sure that the gardenin” rel=”nofollow”>ing tools, equipment and decorative items for sale at Green Haven
were exclusive and of the highest quality. He was also committed to keepin” rel=”nofollow”>ing the profit margin” rel=”nofollow”>ins low,
as gardenin” rel=”nofollow”>ing was a passion for him and he was very happy that this passion also provided him with a
livin” rel=”nofollow”>ing. The workers that he had hired at his nurseries were chosen because they too shared his
passion for gardenin” rel=”nofollow”>ing. Adam was very fond of the people who worked for him, and he had an
in” rel=”nofollow”>individual connection and relationship with each one of them.
These relationships had come about because of his tradition of holdin” rel=”nofollow”>ing monthly staff meetin” rel=”nofollow”>ings that
everyone attended. Over the years, the tradition had grown so that the venue for the monthly staff
meetin” rel=”nofollow”>ings was rotated around the 11 nurseries. On the day of the meetin” rel=”nofollow”>ing, the busin” rel=”nofollow”>iness was closed
down and everyone got together and discussed their work issues. Those meetin” rel=”nofollow”>ings were normally
very fruitful for all the staff; they learned new practices from each other and exchanged gardenin” rel=”nofollow”>ing
tips, which they could later share with customers. It was also a time for discussin” rel=”nofollow”>ing new ideas that
people had come up with, new in” rel=”nofollow”>information or knowledge about plants or gardenin” rel=”nofollow”>ing techniques that
someone had come across, or anythin” rel=”nofollow”>ing of in” rel=”nofollow”>interest that related to the staff’s shared passion for
gardenin” rel=”nofollow”>ing. The meetin” rel=”nofollow”>ings were like picnics, where everyone got together to discuss the busin” rel=”nofollow”>iness but
also to have fun together and socialise with staff from other branches. All the staff looked forward to
these meetin” rel=”nofollow”>ings, and everyone tried to brin” rel=”nofollow”>ing somethin” rel=”nofollow”>ing new to the meetin” rel=”nofollow”>ing to share and to discuss.
This was also a forum for anyone to raise issues, and for Adam to share his views, receive feedback
from his staff and then make a decision on the issue at hand based on consensus. Adam found that
because everyone knew and understood each other very well, he usually did not have problems with
reachin” rel=”nofollow”>ing a consensus even when there were differences of opin” rel=”nofollow”>inion between staff members.
Another practice that was very dear to Adam was that he would visit all of the 11 nurseries every
quarter and would work at the nursery along with the staff at the nursery. He loved in” rel=”nofollow”>interactin” rel=”nofollow”>ing with
the customers and helpin” rel=”nofollow”>ing them to select the right plants for their gardens or backyards, and was
always very keen to share his knowledge and expertise. Adam would often give a free plant to
customers, especially if they were new home owners and were tryin” rel=”nofollow”>ing to fin” rel=”nofollow”>ind plants to start a
garden—a tradition that he encouraged his staff to contin” rel=”nofollow”>inue. Adam was known to spend hours with
a customer tryin” rel=”nofollow”>ing to fin” rel=”nofollow”>ind what plants would best suit their needs. He would give them in” rel=”nofollow”>information
and advice until they were fully satisfied and were able to make decisions about what to buy. The
staff at the nursery saw Adam as a role model, and they followed in” rel=”nofollow”>in his footsteps in” rel=”nofollow”>in providin” rel=”nofollow”>ing
in” rel=”nofollow”>information and education to their customers.
Adam also produced a quarterly newsletter that was sent out to all customers or visitors to the
nurseries who registered their names and addresses on the registration book kept at each nursery.
Case Study: Green Haven — Changed Values
MGB200 – Sem 1, 2017 – Assessment Item 3 – Case Analysis
He was very proud of the newsletter and would usually write an article on a particular plant in” rel=”nofollow”>in every
edition. For example, he had in” rel=”nofollow”>in the last few years researched and written about plants that were
drought resistant and about ways of conservin” rel=”nofollow”>ing water while keepin” rel=”nofollow”>ing the garden healthy, in” rel=”nofollow”>in lin” rel=”nofollow”>ine with
the drought bein” rel=”nofollow”>ing experienced in” rel=”nofollow”>in Melbourne. The newsletter was then prin” rel=”nofollow”>inted, copied and mailed
out to a list of over 5000 people.
As Philip took over the management of Green Haven, he began to notice that there were some
practices that existed which he immediately picked up as unnecessary and a cost to the busin” rel=”nofollow”>iness. He
felt that even though the busin” rel=”nofollow”>iness was doin” rel=”nofollow”>ing extremely well, there were some thin” rel=”nofollow”>ings that needed to
change as they were addin” rel=”nofollow”>ing to the costs of doin” rel=”nofollow”>ing busin” rel=”nofollow”>iness. For example, he discovered that each
nursery regularly gave out plants for free and it was not uncommon for each nursery to give out
plants worth a total of $200 to $300 a month as gifts to various customers. On his rounds to the
various nurseries, Philip also found that staff were spendin” rel=”nofollow”>ing two hours, on average, with each
customer, which he felt to be a waste of time and money. Within” rel=”nofollow”>in the first quarter of takin” rel=”nofollow”>ing on the
CEO role, he sent out a message to all nursery managers to stop the practice of handin” rel=”nofollow”>ing out free
plants to customers with immediate effect. He argued that customers needed to buy plants, sin” rel=”nofollow”>ince
that was what they came to the nursery for, and that there was no real benefit in” rel=”nofollow”>in handin” rel=”nofollow”>ing out free
plants—in” rel=”nofollow”>in fact, it was an unnecessary cost to the busin” rel=”nofollow”>iness.
At the next staff meetin” rel=”nofollow”>ing, Philip announced that there were some changes in” rel=”nofollow”>in processes that he
wanted to in” rel=”nofollow”>introduce. He told everyone that he had made some observations, and based on these he
had decided that they would no longer have day-long monthly meetin” rel=”nofollow”>ings, but that there would be
fortnightly meetin” rel=”nofollow”>ings held with nursery managers at his office and that the nursery managers would
then in” rel=”nofollow”>institute a system of meetin” rel=”nofollow”>ings within” rel=”nofollow”>in their in” rel=”nofollow”>individual nurseries. He then announced the
in” rel=”nofollow”>introduction of computers at each nursery, which would serve as in” rel=”nofollow”>information poin” rel=”nofollow”>ints for customers
on any plants or gardenin” rel=”nofollow”>ing questions that they might have. Philip in” rel=”nofollow”>informed the staff that he had
made this decision based on his observation that in” rel=”nofollow”>individual staff members were spendin” rel=”nofollow”>ing, on
average, a very long time with each customer and that this was not a very efficient way of workin” rel=”nofollow”>ing.
He also mentioned the high cost of the production and mail-out of newsletters, but said that he had
decided to contin” rel=”nofollow”>inue with the newsletter as this was somethin” rel=”nofollow”>ing that he felt his father could work on
and it would give him a way of stayin” rel=”nofollow”>ing connected to the busin” rel=”nofollow”>iness. Philip then asked if anyone had
any questions, but he got none. He felt that the meetin” rel=”nofollow”>ing had gone very well and he was happy that
no one had raised any objections to his decisions. However, the staff left the meetin” rel=”nofollow”>ing very puzzled
and confused, as they felt that so many thin” rel=”nofollow”>ings had changed in” rel=”nofollow”>instantly and they had no idea why.
A few weeks after the meetin” rel=”nofollow”>ing, the new processes were put in” rel=”nofollow”>in place. Free plants were no longer
bein” rel=”nofollow”>ing handed out to customers and the meetin” rel=”nofollow”>ings were now held at Philip’s office. These were now
very formal processes, followin” rel=”nofollow”>ing an agenda that was circulated to all nursery managers two days
before the meetin” rel=”nofollow”>ing, with an option to in” rel=”nofollow”>include additional agenda items. The managers began to get
used to this new way of workin” rel=”nofollow”>ing, but they yearned for their monthly meetin” rel=”nofollow”>ings and associated social
events. They felt that they had stopped learnin” rel=”nofollow”>ing from each other and that their jobs had begun to
stagnate. They also felt that their staff were displayin” rel=”nofollow”>ing signs of lost enthusiasm for their work.
Generally, the morale at their nurseries was low.
Six months later, Philips was sittin” rel=”nofollow”>ing in” rel=”nofollow”>in his office tryin” rel=”nofollow”>ing to figure out what had gone wrong. He was
lookin” rel=”nofollow”>ing at the quarterly reports and was surprised to see that, despite the cost-cuttin” rel=”nofollow”>ing measures
that he had implemented, revenues were substantially lower than when he had taken over from his
father. He had also learnt that five of their nursery staff from across the various nurseries had quit
their jobs, and he had just received a resignation letter from one of the oldest nursery managers. He
was very puzzled and also worried.
Relate theory to a practical situation by applyin” rel=”nofollow”>ing the ideas and knowledge discussed in” rel=”nofollow”>in
MGB200 to the practical situation at hand in” rel=”nofollow”>in the case study.
 Identify the problems
 Select the major problems in” rel=”nofollow”>in the case
 Suggest solutions to these major problems
 Recommend the best evidence based solutions to be implemented

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