What a year! Filled with marshmallows and I’m going to say it…supply chain issues. Looking back, it’s hard to believe that images of “Bernie Sanders’ mittens” was only 11 months ago, and likewise, we’ve spent some time this week looking back and reflecting on what we’ve learned in 2021. Here are our Top 5 Takeaways:
#5 - You gotta PIVOT
We thought 2020 would be the year we had to Pivot like Ross from Friends trying to get a couch up the stairs. Well, we were right AND wrong. 2021 has tested us more than we expected – from festivals being cancelled and revived in the same week, to leading our staff to safely navigate COVID-19. One of the biggest accomplishments from this year has been looking to ourselves and our teams for solutions, back-up plans, and walking away knowing we can trust that we will figure it out.
#4 - Troop XO is really an amazing community
Our customers help us make decisions all the time. From favorite flavors, to new product ideas, you’ve always been our guide. This year we have had more interactions, conversations, and seen more support from our customers than ever before. We love Troop XO and not just because we share a fondness for marshmallows, but because when times are tough, they rally and lift us up.
#3 - Presence is an important part of effective leadership
Most years, we have found moments of struggle with trying to balance the people, projects, and products moving through the company. This year, we sat down to discuss what our goals were, and what we needed to achieve them. Then, working backwards, found solutions to a lot of our bottlenecks. Our main transformation came in the form of communicating what we were working on, and when our team could reach out, verses when we were taking time away. Clarifying our roles and goals led to more open communication and made us overall better leaders.
#2 - Your team is your foundation
There’s nothing more important than people. Another aspect to our Troop are the wonderful humans who help get delicious marshmallows made and in your hands. Our employees work within teams, and are always willing to help each other out. This year we have been fortunate enough to grow our staff and have really worked at establishing a solid, positive, work environment.
#1 - Stay creative to stay competitive
Innovation is crucial in the candy industry. And frankly, we get bored quickly. We’ve seen so many new confectionery businesses pop up this year; and in order to stay that #1 marshmallow company, we are constantly upping our game. This year we made room for new treats by letting go of older flavors, and have left room each month to experiment with fun new things for 2022. We can’t wait to share them with you soon!
We wish you a Happy New Year and hope it is filled with many sweet moments from XO Marshmallow!
XO, Kat & Lindzi