Geek Retreat is the UK’s fastest-growing geek culture experience franchise. This retailer, gaming cafe and events hub rolled into one is the friendliest place to meet, eat, trade and game. This franchise business is currently made up of 33 stores around the UK with ambitions to open a total of 50 stores before the end of the year, reaching 200 stores in the UK and Europe in 3-5 years. To support its expansion plans, the company has invited Graeme McKinnon, CEO and Founder of Why Leadership, as Chair to the board.
“We started working with Why Leadership in March 2020, just before the pandemic hit and as the business was entering a significant growth phase. We looked to Graeme for guidance on how to build a high-performing team, to help our people achieve their full potential – plus I’m always looking to develop my own leadership skills. Graeme’s combined skills and experience of franchise consultancy, leadership development and coaching with compassion seemed like the perfect fit – and indeed it was. So much so, we invited him to join us as Chairman,” explained Peter Dobson, CEO of Geek Retreat.
Graeme has developed his leadership style over the last 30 years from within the healthcare and franchise sectors, where he attributes his success to the people he has had the privilege to lead over that time. Graeme believes that, delivered effectively, leading with compassion can help teams, individuals and organisations to establish a clear sense of purpose (their WHY) and a caring, supportive environment will accelerate personal and organisational growth.
“Joining the board as Chairman has been fantastic. In the first instance, I liked the fact there was a good fit from a value and culture perspective with Geek Retreat. It was also clear to see that Peter was extremely committed to providing an outstanding level of support for their entire network.” explained Graeme.
“Due to their rapid growth, Peter was keen to get access to the knowledge and insight that comes from working with a franchise consultant who also has experience as a successful franchisor and someone who understands the franchise world at large. They were looking for a level of support that would allow them to take their business to the next level.”
Graeme’s position as Chairman will enable him to continue to work strategically with Geek Retreat. Working together, Why Leadership and Geek Retreat continue to ensure exciting growth plans are delivered in a way that is focused on the long term, with decisions being executed following robust consideration and planning.
“I’ve worked with different consultants before, but it’s obvious how much Graeme cares about helping people to achieve their desired results. From my previous experience, consultants will tell you what they think you need to know and then leave you to get on without any practical support. Graeme is a great sounding board and has been brilliant to work with. Other consultants have experience and expertise, but that isn’t enough. Graeme’s leadership development and coaching with compassion approach is something that gets the best out of teams,” said Peter.