Coming Back from Catastrophe

Joe Cottingham from Watts Farm showing a box of freshly dug up sweet potatoes

Joe Cottingham, Group Director at Watts Farms, tells us how they turned things around after COVID-19 felled their £28 million food services business overnight

Listen to our podcast with Joe to get his take on 

  • The importance of letting go – accepting what’s been lost, so you can start to find new opportunity
  • Why having ‘a family feel’ to the business allows his people to trust each other and move quickly
  • The power of clearing your mind to stop you catastrophising
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Inspired by Joe’s story? Here are a few experiments his experience prompted us to try:

Family Feeling


Close relationships between people allow them to trust each other, make quicker decisions and move with speed.

The Experiment

Invest in the relationships you have with your team members. Get to know the whole person – their family set-up, their life outside work – and share something of yourself in return.

Let it go


In times of change, holding onto what you had, blocks you from being able to find new opportunities

The Experiment

Make a list of all the things you’re holding on to that might stop you moving forward. Now have a ceremony where you burn or tear up the list! See if it helps you progress.

Useful Fiction


Getting absorbed in fictional stories acts as a form of mindfulness, allowing you to clear your busy conscious brain. When you do ‘return to reality’, you’ll see things more sharply.

The Experiment

Spend at least 20 minutes a day reading, or listening to a piece of fiction. Shut down any work worries that intrude. When you do close your book, have a fresh think about a problem – can you see a clearer way through?


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