By David Erdal
A Review of the book by Peter A Hunter
In 1977 a company was formed at the head of Loch Fyne in Scotland that became Loch Fyne Oysters.
This book is the story of that company from its first tentative beginnings at the head of the loch to the internationally recognised brand that Loch Fyne Oysters became.
"Local Heroes" begins at the beginning telling beautifully, with great humour, the story of the company's genesis against the backdrop of its founding characters and the glorious vistas of the Loch and the mountains.
But this story is more than just an engaging tale of the setbacks and determination of two struggling visionaries.
In February 2002 one of the Founders of the company, Johnny Noble, died. He had been a huge and loved character and left a void that had to be filled.
The answer to that question is the real story of "Local Heroes."
The real story of Loch Fyne Oysters is the story of how, after the death of Johnny Noble, David Erdal showed the employees of the company how they could buy and run the company for themselves, how Loch Fyne Oysters became entirely employee owned.
And the story does not end there.
Ownership is a concept that wears two hats, both very similar and frequently mistaken for each other.
The first hat is physical ownership and is the first part of David's strategy.
How to transfer the nuts and bolts of the company to the names of the employees.
This is a physical process which ultimately changes the names on the title deeds.
The second hat is the way that people feel about what they do.
Changing the physical ownership of the company does not necessarily change the way that the workforce feel about what they do, having their names on a piece of paper does not give them ownership. The second half of the story is about what changed in the way that the company was run that allowed the workforce to take ownership.
What happened at Loch Fyne Oysters that allowed the workforce to change the way that they felt about what they did, to take ownership.
In this story of ownership and success are lessons that can be applied in any business, anywhere, to change the way that the workforce feel about what they do.
This is an amazing story beautifully told, filled with passion and lessons that work in any organisation.
Peter A Hunter