Spencer Tippetts left the corporate world in 2019 to join the family business at Rainforest Plumbing & Air as director of business development. Commercial business was booming. The task at hand was to expand the residential unit.
Coming from the corporate world, he realized there were aspects of the family business that held opportunities for improvement. Employee turnover. Management. Processes. And definitely company culture.
Doing business on commercial and residential fronts called for different approaches. And Tippetts knew there needed to be lots of planning and discussion to realign how the company ultimately arrived at new strategies.
Dissenting opinions were often presented in controlled “rumbles.”
“If two people in the room have the same opinion, then one of them is useless,” Tippetts says. “We encourage people to disagree because, ultimately, we’ll make a more thoughtful decision.”
It wasn’t always easy, but it worked.
“[Once] you peel back some of the limiting beliefs, underneath those are principles that are the same everywhere,” he says. “It’s more, ‘How can we make it work,’ instead of, ‘Why won’t it work?’”
Tippetts says there was one sentiment that drove the quest to add good residential service: “You have to create the business around the customer that you’re trying to serve.”
He says seeking and finding consensus ultimately paid off.
“We crossed that $10 million mark and it became apparent that we need more than just a couple of problem solvers,” Tippetts says. “We need this entire group to have a voice and share their perspective.”
Sometimes a rumble is what moves the needle.
Spencer Tippetts recently joined ServiceTitan’s Jackie Aubel for the “Toolbox for the Trades” podcast, which included Tippetts’ thoughts on:
(6:58) Encouraging dissenting opinions during family “rumbles”
(9:15) Brene Brown’s approach to differing ideas
(12:46) The cashflow advantage to operating multiple services
(21:01) Scaling a new division with universal business practices
(27:32) The cultural impact of giving your employees a voice
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