Managing Director, Wikaira Consulting Limited
Environmental Planning/Strategic Policy, Wellington
Kim: Jade is a shining star – an ambitious entrepreneur and a top professional who has established a strong foothold in her sector and quickly built a great reputation.
The only way to grow a business is through people, processes and systems, and Jade has grabbed that concept with both hands. One-to-one work has focused on filling up her kete as a business owner and establishing the critical paths that are required in the business – to lock the foundations and leverage for growth.
I’ve been a practical sounding board with advice on leadership and facilitated several strategic sessions with Jade’s staff – some of whom are her whānau – making sure meaningful messaging is communicated in a way that gets people on board.
Jade is working hard on creating a positive company culture, because it really does come from the top. In a two-day strategic planning workshop, we put some processes in place and I've been teaching her around how to lead, how to come into the office, what language to use and what persona to have.
I’ve applied real-world examples around the importance of setting expectations as soon as possible and giving clear job descriptions. Jade knows this, but it’s a constant, and in the daily demands of ownership, it needs to become almost second nature, so a business coach can always offer some good guidance in this area.
Jade is accelerating her learning around leading from the front, seeing where the team’s professional development and training needs are, and which areas require investment. I love the hard work Jade is putting in – growing her capacity to have that finger on the pulse, making herself accountable, and appreciating where the mana lives.
Jade: I started the business in 2019 but when Covid hit, I applied for funding from the Wellington Regional Economic Development Agency. Through that, I worked with a coaching team that was skilled, but it didn’t quite match what I was looking for.
I’d heard of Kim and Stratigi, but not really seen any of her work, and decided to meet her over a coffee in 2020 and we hit it off immediately. It’s impossible to meet Kim for a coffee and not hit it off!
It wasn't a hard sell. We spoke about our respective values and vision – she's also a wahine Māori, as I am, and we aligned on that. Her experience shone through and her passion for the same direction of travel that I'm aiming for was very similar.
I was at a place where, without good planning, I could see myself taking on too much and while being flattered by that, potentially hitting overwhelm and burnout.
For example, I wanted to bring more people on as I was receiving more and more regular requests for jobs that are smaller and diverse but need to be scaled. That couldn’t be done without solid structures and systems. The effort needed to meet the output, so it made sense to get solid guidance on how to do that so that I can be efficient, while not reinventing the wheel each time.
Kim was able to guide me on that, saying: ‘this is what I've done’ or ‘this is what I've seen others do and this absolutely works’, ‘here are some proven formulae – pick and choose what works for you’. So Kim gives me the steps to get there, to scale and grow.
With Kim, I’m always able to put a few different scenarios on the table and she speaks to my bespoke situation, which is really important, because I don't want a manual as the service offering that we provide is very niche.
She also gives me the reassurance that what I am doing is working. She has unequivocally brought huge value to the business, but I think the biggest thing she's done is give me the confidence to lead and to step forward with more certainty about what I’m doing and where I’m going. I haven't got there yet, but I'm on the road to instilling that in myself and in the team because I know that I can go fast alone but go faster together.
Kim and I catch up regularly and it's really cool. It might be for half an hour every two weeks or once a month, but it is precise, it's focused and highly structured in terms of ‘these are the work-ons’ and ‘this is what you need to be doing next’.
I love her energy and effervescence. Often when you’re in business, you adopt a different demeanour and we both click into that very quickly, and get on with the mahi.
She has my utmost respect, and I am a stronger leader for her guidance and support, both personally and professionally, individually and collectively.