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The Wrap: Edwards and Co Management Retreat

There is no Edwards without the Co, and you can’t create a brand without the visionary, but where this bustling salon brand has excelled is both the principle balance between people and progress, while advancing our industry’s reputation to a point  that we all benefit from, writes Cameron Pine.

It’s very easy to make a judgement without understanding the why and perhaps even easier to mistake authenticity with complacency. You see, it’s all very well to sit around and complain about what someone else is doing, but what do you do better and what can you do better for next time?

The idea of the annual Edwards and Co management retreat is to do exactly that but with people as the main prose – where escalating skill and indifference are celebrated.

It’s little wonder why there’s a lot on the shoulders of the Edwards and Co management teams across all salons – from managing so many different personalities and ego’s to keeping the brand’s growth in check, Jaye invests in his team and this time it was with a retreat at Brisbane’s cool, calm and collectively charismatic Calile Hotel over July 4 and 5.

Looking at how things can be done better and more quickly for an intimately impatient entrepreneur like Jaye Edwards is part of his everyday – understand Jaye and you’ll realise there are very few people willing to throw such a high level of risk in the ring but with the heart to completely manufacture the ‘art’ we see in salons. Jaye is just as passionate about inspiring with the best hair colour and education as he is about the burgeoning brand.

A pinch of passion and a push mentality that manifests entrepreneurialism wherever he goes, in a short period of time Jaye has built Edwards and Co to an empire of 6 salons and an education business with a management team that to him is what keeps the brand culture alive.

Jaye Edwards

“I think that holding these management conferences every year ensures consistency across all locations, not only in customer experience but more importantly employee experience,” Jaye said. So this time Jaye set out to bring out a deeper level of emotion with an intensive two day series with Phil Nosworthy – there were tears and tearing realities that for some were just waiting to be acknowledged – together.

Commonly a keynote speaker, Phil Nosworthy is a leading example of how spending real time with people brings the best results and to the fortune of the Edwards and Co managers, he spent two full days uncovering new levels of discovery that clarified their projectory both professionally and personally.

“It also helps my managers to better understand the business financially but also better understand who they really are so they can be a better leader to the teams, said Jaye.

“We even dig a little deeper to focus on emotional leadership and give them the tools to be emotionally intelligent which they can pass onto their teams.”

Phil Nosworthy is a leading expert in mindset and has coached some of the largest brands in the world through company culture and HR. “Keynote speeches are great but you only have an hour and there’s a completely different level of information,” Phil said.

Considering such a keynote commonly affords just a surface chat where Phil likes to think that the ideas planted will develop into something else long term, the intensive two days the Edwards and Co managers were privy to was all about coaching and teaching and earning the right to challenge.

“The main goal for Jaye and his managers is to create cohesion and empathy between individuals,” Phil said. “Both the haircare and music industries have a lot in common because you have big strong identities where everyone is encouraged to be their best and iconic true self.”

Phil is a huge believer that you need to name it to tame it and to feel it to heal it and its often through the acknowledgement  of our five emotions; Anger, Fear, Guilt, Shame and Joy that trigger the most change.

Phil Nosworthy

“We all have post-traumatic stress disorder to some degree at work and sometimes some things don’t need to be taught or changed, just felt,” Phil said. “If a team can be open and honest with each other is can be way more powerful and it often uncovers completely new opportunities for growth.”

You see the issue with performance today is people want to be performing their best before they are ready to be their best, they want to streamline practices before they’ve had the practice and at some point reality vs expectation must merge. This understanding for Edwards and Co is what has helped maintain growth of large teams of powerful leaders individuality, and understanding that encourages all stuff to check themselves and their behaviour more often to ensure the best form of companionship.

“Confidence is a bullshit thing. You can’t ask someone to be confident. You don’t need confidence, you need courage and encouragement,” Phil said. “Don’t trust all of your emotions they are data.”

The unique brand culture that has sat creatively within Edwards and Co reigns as its definitive form of uniqueness, off the back of Jaye’s dexterity to shake things up and do things completely differently to everyone else, the  result is a salon brand of diversity but with a level of brand recognition like no other. All individuals that work at Edwards and Co follow the same brand ethos and  directive – it’s something when done properly that’s difficult to put into words, but when inside a business like that the energy is electric.

In life, it’s no debating that sometimes people’s opinion of what is genuine and true gets skewed, and its collective values we must always try to target to get the best results. This is where the Edwards and Culture from the outset has been indifferent to get results – awkward conversations are on the table and a direct way to fast track your best asset as a stylist becomes the centre of attention at Edwards and Co.

How do you get so many individuals moving forward together and reaching goals that are unaffected by what’s going on inside the head? Our ‘self-talk’ as a manager, is just as important as the way we talk to others.

For Edwards and Co, the true inertia of success is through collaborating rather than competing and raising the skillset by sharing and a common understanding.

“If you base your life around confidence you wouldn’t have much,” Phil said. “A little of people in the world are working hard but they don’t know why they are really going to work.” Create a collective purpose and suddenly or the little insecurities and issues within individuals become less significant.”

From and overall perspective Jaye sees this annual management retreat as an invaluable experience and something that is important not just professionally but also socially – having some staff as close friends has been both a blessing and at times challenging for the brand but ultimately for Jaye, its authenticity and transparency that staff will always appreciate.

Not hiding behind the black curtain of hierarchy, being open about his own state of mind and thought process to staff, whether good or bad long term Jaye believes is better for the brand’s success. A success that is only realised when individuals feel collectively empowered. One of the most important aspects the management retreat has uncovered, is to implore staff to talk about how they feel about themselves and manifests a much deeper level of connection.

What makes a great brand and the ‘brand promise’ then stems from this because everyone is living their true reality, without trying to be someone they’re not, comes authentic connections with both clients and other staff.

“Overall getting each manage together and out of the salon to talk in a neutral environment ensures that each manager, including myself is mentally and emotionally capable to lead their teams,” Jaye said. “The important thing is to have a vision for yourself and nothing is right or wrong. You have to invest in capability.”

There were so many great takeaways and learnings as a group that all staff are now better aligned to understand that a great brand is in the mindset and how we educate our own minds collectively, and as a brand.

It’s no wonder that this really affirmed that it’s the ‘And’ really makes the Edwards and Co – the And is you, me and how we all work together.

Congratulations Edwards and Co on your 2020 vision (and I’m not talking about just the year ahead).

For more information visit www.edwardsandco.com.au

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