Map a pathway to growth leveraging the ambitions, quality, and strong cultural attributes of the organization, across expanding business units and geographies.
Mapping a Pathway to Growth
Highline Mushrooms is the largest organic mushroom producer in the world. When they approached Coeuraj in 2018, they were already enjoying a period of rapid growth and had ambitious goals to scale the company. To maintain their culture of ‘quality first’ and overall operational health of which they were so proud, Highline needed to rapidly adapt their business processes in response to the needs of their expanding customers, employees, and farms. They needed to align their leadership team on the best approach, build a comprehensive strategy that they would own and could implement, and do so while remaining true to their product, values, and people.
Working closely with the leadership team, Coeuraj designed a process for Highline to collaboratively map out its path to growth. Through a series of multi-stakeholder engagements, we examined the values that sat behind the actions and motivations of the organization and what their new, leaner business processes should look like.
The work set a bold vision for the company in the form of a growth strategy that was focused on people and culture called the ‘Highline Way.’ We conducted interviews, facilitated engagements across business departments, and studied their existing materials and history to understand what sat at the heart of their company culture and success. Coeuraj designed a culture handbook covering everything from policy and procedure to real stories from team members showing the company values in action.
To address the operational challenges of working across geographies and to decide where standardization or new communication pathways were required, we brought together the executive team—each member responsible for their own unit within the organization—and led a focused session on what was required for them to operate as a high-performing team within and across their business units. The decisions they made were captured in a playbook outlining their Target Operating Model.
Since working with Coeuraj, Highline’s production went from 50 million pounds per annum to over 140 million pounds, with the expansion of product delivery to almost all areas in both Canada and the USA. Highline became the first coast-to-coast mushroom company in North America, with revenues from 2018 until 2021 growing from $110m to $390 CAD, largely due to a series of successful acquisitions. The ability for Highline’s cultural attributes to scale was key to ensuring its market differentiators were maintained: To be the #1 in organics with top quality produce. Our work focused on vision, strategy, and direction, and on arming Highline with the skills and tools needed to implement the decisions they made as a team.