CallFire


Charting a new course to create new value


Project breakdown

3 targeted projects over 16 months: a corporate strategy, a 2-day product strategy workshop, and a year-end Purpose exercise + internal branding

11 in-depth, one-on-one interviews with the company founders, the C-Suite, and key venture investors

4 facilitation days in sunny Santa Monica

capabilities: strategy, writing, creative direction, graphic design, facilitation

 

The background

Founded in 2004, CallFire is pushing the boundaries of text messaging to help organizations large and small run their operations, grow their business, and personalize customer experiences, but this wasn’t always their priority.

 

The problem

Every successful technology company has its share of strategic pivots in response to technological changes, competitive threats, and market demand. In CallFire’s case, these decisions were further complicated by changes in leadership, acquisitions that didn’t quite pan out, and a strict FCC regulatory environment.

The company founders eventually brought in a new CEO, Michel Veys, known for his operating savvy and judicious financial leadership, to turn the company around and lead it back to growth, and after a year of pruning underperforming projects and people, Michel was eager to set an aggressive growth agenda with the help of his leadership team. 

 

How we helped

In September of 2016, we were invited to help co-create the company’s growth strategy, but we quickly realized that what the leadership team really needed was alignment around the core beliefs that were driving individual decision-making and behavior.

Following in-depth interviews with each of the leaders, we created and facilitated a one-day offsite to surface and reconcile conflicting ambitions, hidden fears, stubborn attachments or grievances, and any “third-rail” issues that were getting in the way of teamwork and growth.

The conversations were difficult but necessary, and after a day of heated debate and constructive dialogue we developed a corporate narrative around ten underlying beliefs that were driving their true purpose and strategic priorities. By making these core beliefs visible the leadership team could finally align around the hard choices and trade-offs they would have to make going forward, allowing them to pivot quickly in an industry that was always changing.

That first engagement became the foundation for two follow-on engagements in 2017: a 2-day product strategy off-site for company leaders to explore new value creation and customer lifecycle optimization, and a one-day company-wide workshop for all 120 employees to internalize CallFire’s Purpose in their daily operations and decision-making.

In 2017, CallFire exceeded all growth expectations while increasing its employee base by 50%. They were also named one of L.A.’s “Best Places to Work” for the fourth consecutive time by the Los Angeles Business Journal, and they have a coveted 4.8 star Glassdoor rating.

 

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