The following customer success story comes from our partners at Navigate Management Consulting. Helping audio visual and related technology companies achieve better business results.
Work hard, play hard.
Take time for your family.
We invest in our employees on a personal level.
We provide opportunities for them to grow, not just along a career path, but also in their personal lives.
“These are the core values of Tempest Technologies,” according to CEO Debbie Williamson.
“We are based in a very tech-central area, west of Seattle, and there are a lot of other options out there,” says Williamson. “We look for individuals that are comfortable and happy working in a smaller business entity without all the corporate trappings that could be offered. We can’t especially compete monetarily or perks wise, so we have to create a culture that makes our people feel like they are at home and want to stay. We want them to be invested in the business, and not just coming to a place of work.”
Tempest Technologies opened its doors in 2003, and has grown to 30 employees over the last 15 years.
How do you define culture?
“When we started the company, we never wanted to be the big 800-pound gorilla. That was never our goal,” Williamson reports. “We always said we would likely be under 50 employees, with a smaller tight-knit, hands-on, solid team. You don’t hear anybody say ‘that’s not my job’. If there is something brewing everybody steps up. You always know you have someone to count on, and that is the culture we wanted to create.”
How do we grow, how do we groom the people that we want to elevate within the company? Also, how do we let go, because it’s hard to let go of your baby. Navigate really helped us with this.
“When we met Navigate, we were in a transition period,” says Williamson. “We have 4 owners, 4 partners in the business, and we didn’t really have a middle management layer yet. We were trying to figure out how in the world do we continue to do our daily jobs, which were working within the company, and still keep momentum going forward, while continuing to grow the business.
None of us came from a background of management, and so we decided it was time to get some help from outside consultants. Navigate was a good fit. They are very hands on, and we were looking for that level of support.”
“Navigate had an immediate impact because they took the time to really understand our business,” says Williamson. “They came in and helped us go through all our processes. Everything from what happens when you get the first touch with the client, all the way out the door, through the project phase, at every level through purchasing, operations, project management and then servicing the client.”
“We found some quick inefficiencies right off the bat where we were doing double duty with work,” Williamson reports. “That was the first thing they helped us with. Then we started doing coaching calls. Initially it was the four partners and we helped Navigate understand what our pain points were, and our stumbling blocks for elevating the business to the next level. We also outlined our goals.”
How do you find leaders?
After that really deep dive, Tempest transitioned to weekly coaching sessions to make sure they were keeping forward momentum. In that process, Navigate started grooming the leaders that were being elevated within the company.
If you have people that you trust who share your vision and your mission, that’s invaluable. So, bringing in coaching and giving them the training they need to take it to the next level was critical for the future of the company.
“As we were looking for our next gen leadership team, they had to be on board with our vision and comfortable with where we want to take the business,” states Williamson. “The folks that we have selected are very much on board with our mission. These individuals showed great drive, vision and potential, and they are on the same page as we are in terms of the culture we want to create, with accountability and integrity.”
“As we identified our leadership team, Navigate also started coaching them, which was great,” according to Williamson. “The value is they were already part of the culture, and valuable assets within the business. They checked so many boxes, so it was worth investing in management training, as opposed to hiring someone with management experience. Bringing somebody in from the outside is basically a crap shoot, and it’s not always worth the risk.”
“Navigate helped us understand that if we didn’t change and grow, that we were going to become irrelevant,” Williamson concludes.