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Why we love tourists at Comfort Research

At Comfort Research, innovators of the amazing Big Joe line of products including the one that I am sitting in here and check this out, it only weighs 15 lbs. and can go indoors or outdoors (ok, there is my shameless product plug), we often find ourselves giving tours. On the tour we share our culture, strategy, and relentless commitment to innovation that’s grown us to 250 employees, put over 14M of our products in over 10,000 stores, and built relationships with the world’s largest and best retailers.

Many of our “tourists” are potential employees, but many are also people we do business with: vendors, partners, customers, community members and more. It’s important to us that everyone we work with knows what drives us. We also hope our struggles and what we have uncovered can inspire others in what they do.

We nearly always start the tour here in front of a six-foot-tall copy of our Strategic Plan (we call it our MAP), which is posted on the walls all over our HQ. It’s a daily reminder to our team that our MAP is a big part of the company-literally and figuratively.

In addition, we talk about the journey to create a system around our core values. That includes sharing the struggles we had building a strategic plan that was clear, concise, and executable. We want our team and partners to know that innovation is rewarding and it means trying new things and failing at them to get there. The entire wall behind me is dedicated to our awesome Ambassadors that are living our culture every day.

Later, we share some of the simple and creative ways we innovate new products in markets that didn’t previously exist. We want everyone to know that our success depends on every team member being an innovator – no matter if they’re driving a forklift, processing invoices, or researching new materials. To do this, we introduce them to the winners of our FAB (Find a Better Way) award. Past winners have earned it for finding a better way to fill bean bag chairs to painting a wall pink because it cheers up the team.

We take care to walk them through our ‘We do We’ section of the MAP explaining the actions we will and won’t take that will lead us being a $1B brand. If we’re transparent about where we’re going with the company, we’ve found it makes getting there easier because that knowledge empowers our team to align their roles for the best fit.

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