Changes at Great Harvest
Things are changing in the home office today and I am really excited about what is going on. About 7 or 8 years ago we realized the world was changing and we needed to modernize our training programs and enable the Learning Community to thrive in a new way.
The Learning Community is the heart and soul of our bakeries but it is different today than it was in 1992. In the early days we truly were learning almost everything. Things were being experienced for the first time and we had a culture of “let’s figure this out together.” Over time most of the day to day challenges in running a bakery have been experienced and the innovation going on in the bakeries has become less vocal.
Effective today, we are reorganizing the corporate office and how it functions to better serve our bakery owners and put them in a better position to serve their customers.
So what are we doing? Sharing and training. We are dedicating a team of people in the office to travel the country to visit each and every bakery over time to see first hand each operation and bring the best of each back to share with the rest. This is going to pollinate the Learning Community with ideas in a way not seen in some years. And, we are going to train, train and train some more to make sure each new bakery and new bakery owner has more than all of the tools necessary to succeed.
Over the course of these last 7 years we have significantly changed how we open new stores. We have taken a more active role in training in the home office and done more experiential learning in a teaching environment. We have now expanded that to continue to offer that support for the first few years of your operation instead of just the first. And, in a very exciting change we have started including transfer owners in this expanded training process to give all stores the benefit of the increased focus of our training.
But, we aren’t done. We have finished the first two phases of updating our training school curriculum to make it more adult learning focused and to teach to the core competencies we have identified in successful bakery owners but there is more to come. The next steps will be to rewrite all of our training materials and implement them into all phases of what we do.
It sounds like a little and it sounds like a lot. But it has and will continue to completely change how we train and open bakeries and how we make sure that all good and new ideas coming up in bakeries all the time are shared for all to have fun with.
The point is to play to everyone’s strengths. Take the vast experience of the Learning Community and share it with new owners while pollinating more mature bakeries with all of the best new ideas in a way that is easy to understand and implement.
One of my favorite descriptions of the Freedom Franchise is that it is a mom and pop business model where mom and pop know what they are doing. This will be even more of mom and pop showing you what works so you can have more freedom to exercise individual choices where you want.
I know I am biased but I don’t think there has ever been a better time to join the Great Harvest family.
Thanks for reading.