Faribault Woolen Mill Chairman and CEO Paul Grangaard is the first guest on a new weekly CEO interview program called “One Take” exploring how Minnesota companies are surviving the coronavirus and available via YouTube and Spotify.
In each 10-20 minute interview, former Twin Cities Business Editor in Chief Dale Kurschner asks one CEO to provide his or her take on how best to deal with the most pressing business and economic issues of the day, Covid-19. Another reason for the name “One Take” is that each interview is a continuous, unscripted dialogue with no edits.
“Given the times, we’re recording our conversations from our homes via Zoom,” he says. “While they’re not polished, I badly need a haircut and I’m a little rusty at TV interviews, these are authentic straight-from-the-CEO talks.”
Grangaard shares how the Covid-19 economy compares with situations he’s experienced ranging from the fall of the Berlin Wall and the rise of hostile takeovers, to 9-11 and the Great Recession. He shares how Faribault Woolen Mill is moving forward in these uncertain times, and how retail in general will change (watch for more items being sold in coffee shops). Grangaard also discusses ways leaders can use this situation to be even more effective, how the workplace will be forever changed and the importance of focusing first on what customers need and want.
Grangaard’s One Take interview is available to watch on YouTube and to listen to via Spotify and includes comments such as the following: “The most pivotal motion in the U.S. economy in the last 30 years was the rise of the hostile takeover trend, junk bonds and the ability of corporate raiders to go after companies that weren’t very efficient. It led to very overblown focus on efficiencies rather than great customer service and the true purpose of a company, which is to serve customers and employees well.”
Grangaard also explains how Faribault Woolen Mill is dealing with Covid-19’s impact on the economy: “We’re going to focus really hard at being great at what our customers need and want from us. That sounds like common sense and not that hard to do but it’s a new mentality… Thinking from the customer back toward the company, rather than the other way around, is much rarer than you would expect.”
The next One Take interview is with Chuck Runyon, co-founder and CEO of Self Esteem Brands best known for its worldwide franchise operation Anytime Fitness. It will be available Wednesday, May 27. CEOs interviewed after Chuck include Christine Lantin, owner and CEO of Maud Borup, and Jeff Kiesel, CEO of Restaurant Technologies Inc.
One Take interviews are sponsored by The Platinum Group, Minnesota’s most experienced advisory group helping business owners and leaders with extreme challenges including financial setbacks, lender/landlord re-negotiations, turnarounds and bankruptcies. Kurschner is one of its consultants.
Complimenting this series are interviews with key members of The Platinum Group, beginning with this discussion with Founder and CEO Dean Bachelor. Dean shares what leaders should focus on right now and explains why the Platinum Group is uniquely qualified to serve businesses seeking help.
“Platinum Group is not a law firm, an accounting firm nor a bank, although we have a couple of former attorneys, several accountants and former bankers in our group. Platinum Group is a collection of more than 20 seasoned individuals with more than 600 years of collective experience running businesses, managing businesses, financing businesses, planning businesses who enjoy working with business owners and helping them address their critical issues,” Bachelor says. “Because of the breadth and depth of experience we have at Platinum, we’re often able to help companies in a myriad number of ways.” The firm has helped more than 2,000 companies, primarily in Minnesota, over the last four decades.