Jean Thompson | CEO Seattle Chocolate Company
Creating A Growth Cadence That Brings Out The Best In My People
Jean is the CEO of Seattle Chocolate Company, a small local business. She’s confident in her team and proud of her company’s culture. The business is doing well, and she is gearing up to grow it. She wants to be intentional about this process and focus on the right things rather than growing too fast without having enough cash or forgetting about the people and culture.
She was introduced to Rockefeller Habits and Verne Harnish’s Scaling Up method through the mentorship program in the C200 Organization. When the program ended, she wanted to apply the practice to her business. She identified certified Scaling Up coaches in the Seattle area and interviewed them.
Integrate the Scaling Up method into the company’s strategic planning process.
Jean is never short on ideas. Given her limited resources, however, she’s looking for help prioritizing ideas and building an infrastructure of discipline so that her projects are well-executed.
The company has two brands: Seattle Chocolate, a Pacific Northwestern powerhouse with 30 years tenure, and jcoco chocolate, an emerging business that launched in 2012. The leadership team needs to identify their goals for growing both brands and understand how each aligns with the other.
Futurity Resources | Strategic Business Growth Coaching
“I would definitely recommend Rick to any company that's growing and needs a little direction on which levers to pull in order to move in the right direction. He’s your equal or smarter, and he adds enormous value along the way. He's not a conductor; he's a coach and he'll come up with examples from his exposure to other clients or just living in the world.”
Jean Thompson | CEO Seattle Chocolate Company
Rick brings the discipline of a classic business person as well as uncanny common sense about people that is grounding and freeing to a creative, visionary person like myself.
We started with a comprehensive survey. Each member of my team was asked to contribute their thoughts about trends and challenges. Then, Rick assimilated our responses and presented a summary which revealed some gaps that he could help us define.
The prep work Rick and I did before the strategic offsite led to a full plan and itinerary for our upcoming retreat. Like a true coach, he helped me think through and identify what I wanted to get out of the two-day event. Plus, he provided valuable insight regarding what we might need as a team and a company to get the results I was after.
The leadership retreat was broken up based on teamwork, today’s situation, setting a vision, and goals for the future. It was hardcore strategic thinking that resulted in a well-thought-out plan. It was well-organized and a wonderfully productive use of our time.
Mike Ginal | VP of Sales, Seattle Chocolate Company
"Many companies aspire to Verne Harnish’s Scaling Up methodology. Putting it into practice, however, is easier said than done. Rick has developed a rigorous methodology that brings Scaling Up to life for companies. His process is straightforward and thorough, ensuring that you don’t just check boxes…that you answer the tough questions to bring clarity to your business. I would highly recommend Rick to every organization looking to get a leg up on the competition."
Rick made my life easier during the strategic session. Having his support to think big picture took the pressure off me. I could actually be involved with the brainstorming and strategy discussions and let someone else monitor things and run the day. It was a great gift to us all.
Rick is great because he is strategic. Whereas some consultants just feed back to you what you just said, Rick really dives in to understand what it is that you're trying to convey. He assimilates, applies his own experience, and is good at identifying blind spots. Plus, he’s skilled at getting input from everyone. As the plans unfolded throughout the two-day retreat, I could tell my team was truly invested.
The clarity Rick added during our strategic offsite from a business and leadership perspective was so astounding that we’ve fully integrated him into our strategic planning process all year long.
Before working with Rick, we were doing well and making money, but we didn’t have a great strategy for metrics. We had around 17 metrics that we tracked, but they didn't necessarily connect to our overarching goals.
Rick pulled up a dashboard with 100 dials and was able to help us flesh out our priorities, deliver the goals, and track our progress monthly and quarterly. Our priorities are now clear, provide a north star for sharing plans among departments, and focus us on exactly what we are working toward. The result is greater individual and collective empowerment to identify the right ideas to pursue and discard ideas that, despite sounding fun, don’t move the needle closer towards our company goals.
Charity Hestead | Director of Marketing Communications, Seattle Chocolate Company
“I am an empathetic, creative, and relationship-oriented person. I do not respond well to aggression or just focusing on the bottom line. If someone was coming in and it felt like they were trying to whip us into shape and put us on the right track, I would not have responded well to that.
Rick is very personable and his questions were direct and respectful. I liked his balance of culture-focused and results-driven without being like a robot. For example, I enjoyed how we talked through our competition creatively as a team with post-it notes. This really broke up the day and opened up great conversations that impact my day-to-day work in marketing.”
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