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James's blog: The youth will set you free

Posted on: October 07, 2014 | Author: ATB Business & Agriculture

By James Boettcher, Chief Idea Officer, Fiasco Gelato

When you talk to Calgary entrepreneur James Boettcher about his business, his dedication to his team is undeniable. This blog post gets to the root of what makes his team tick.

When I started my first real job on my 14th birthday, I had no prior knowledge of the workplace, nor any skills that were pertinent to working at Sunterra Market. What I did have was an understanding of teamwork through playing sports and a desire to learn new skills.

There is something inherently promising when you find someone who hasn’t had a length of time to formulate opinions or habits that cause them to be unidirectional in business. My approach has been to find people who emulate those adaptable traits I had when I was young, so that we can bring them onto our bus at an accelerated speed, and give them the autonomy to discover new ways of doing things in the process.

At Fiasco, attracting a young team has been a by-product of the culture we are building. It is more about a willingness to immediately adapt when things aren’t going well, and recognize what to continue to do as we learn what works well along our journey.

But that doesn’t work for everyone. We have seen some strong people leave our team because they aren’t used to such an evolving, and beautifully chaotic environment. Most because they had already defined a path, and our adaptability changed things for them along the way. They were already set on how they would do things, and struggled with the way our team did things.

While it is good to have experience on your side in any setting, the experience has to be open to change, just as the youth is open to learning.

The truth of the matter is that at Fiasco, we have no idea what we are doing. Each and every day we gather together, with our goals to navigate us in the right direction, and set sail for the stars. The weather may change, and the waves make take us places we didn’t know we would go, but our team’s willingness to adapt to these changes gets us results, often better than we had predicted.

Those results come from a young group of talented people, who bring a plethora of skills. But it’s their desire to learn something new that allows us to succeed.

3 quick hits from James

How my employees would describe me:  Crazy! They love it, even though it scares them from time to time.

Inspired by:  My team. Every day.

Why Alberta? Because it's where we live, and there is so much potential.

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