From Panic to Empowerment Running on EOS™

These We Run on EOS™ stories reflect the honest statements and experiences of businesses that wanted to share their EOS® story. While we believe the stories are true, neither EOS Worldwide, LLC nor its affiliates or representatives have independently verified any information provided. The success of any business including those operating on EOS is dependent upon various factors, including individual efforts, business judgments, market conditions and other factors beyond our or any EOS Implementer’s control or influence. For these reasons, these stories are not necessarily representative of all companies operating on EOS and results are not guaranteed. Your experience and results may vary.

The information presented is therefore intended for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact us.

Strom Creek Team

Teresa Fudenberg, Visionary of Storm Creek in Eagan, Minnesota, knows about the heartaches entrepreneurial business owners go through. Since the official founding of the current Storm Creek company in 2014, she and her husband, Doug, have felt the excitement, frustration, and downright panic that comes with operating their business. 

As a private label designing and selling high-quality outdoor apparel, Doug originally founded Storm Creek in 2006 to fill a gap in the outdoor apparel industry. In 2014, the brand was re-invented under new ownership with Teresa as 51% majority owner. The business grew quickly, but not without blood, sweat, and tears. Doug and Teresa ran themselves ragged, making all the decisions for the organization. 

“We were growing and doing well in spite of ourselves,” Teresa said. “We had a good product and found a niche market, but it always felt like we were taking two steps forward and three steps back.”

One day, a colleague gave Doug a copy of the book Traction
“He handed the book to me and said, ‘This has our name written all over it,’” Teresa said. “It wasn’t long afterward that we were matched with our EOS Implementer®.”

Vision

Teresa said that when they started working with EOS Implementer Matt Goldberg, he encouraged them to think about the business more strategically.

Job number one was to pull together a leadership team, beginning with determining who should be on it. Teresa said that creating The Accountability Chart® forced them to think through who had the best abilities for leadership roles. 

It also exposed another flaw. As a flat organization, Storm Creek didn’t have much structure or titles with any meaning. That also meant people didn’t see much room for growth in the company.

With The Accountability Chart on paper, team members knew what they were accountable for in their roles. Introducing Scorecards to measure progress each week made things even clearer. 

Those who thrived in this new level of transparency could see a future within Storm Creek where they could grow. 

Traction®

Of course, not everyone was happy with that increased transparency. Teresa said they lost a few people who couldn’t get on the same page with Running on EOS. 

As people left, Teresa said they became much more selective of who they brought on board. Rather than put anybody in the role, they made sure a candidate was a Core Values fit and was truly the right person in the right seat. 

Teresa no longer promotes someone simply because they’re a long-time employee. And when someone is put in a new role, they have the accountability and authority to truly own it. 
Plus, consistently using The Meeting Pulse®, the leadership team had a venue to identify, discuss, and solve (IDS®) issues as they came up. The leadership team began working through issues earlier and solving them while they were small problems.

Healthy

“By reviewing Scorecard Measurables in weekly Level 10 Meetings, everything got better,” Teresa said. “The Accountability Chart, while still hard, keeps evolving and makes us think about where we need to be in the future to succeed. It also forces us to be honest about fit.”

For example, Teresa initially sat in the Integrator seat because she thought that was supposed to be her role. But she recently admitted that she’s not really cut out for it. 

“I tried to sway the Crystallizer Assessment® so that it showed I was more of an Integrator,” she said and laughed. “But my mind really doesn’t work that way.” 

With current director of marketing & product Andrew Stern transitioning into the Integrator seat, Teresa is still determining how she might best serve the Greater Good of the Organization. Andrew is more process driven, and Teresa thinks he’s a much better fit for the role. Knowing her limitations, Teresa is much more open to letting others operate in their Personal Core Focus. 

Meanwhile, Teresa serves as the Visionary, determining the highest and best use of her time and Doug’s.

Takeaway

In 2018, Storm Creek experienced a true stress test: a client went out of business that had amounted to 50% of Storm Creek’s revenue. The client canceled orders on items already in process, meaning that Storm Creek had to eat those costs in addition to halving their expected annual revenue. 

“Without EOS, we probably could’ve folded,” Teresa said. “I’m a student of EOS, always learning and always referring other business owners to EOS to pay it forward. Basically, I bleed orange.

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