Help wanted: Jim Roche talks ‘appetite’ for executive coaching in Ottawa

Jim Roche is president and CEO of Stratford Managers. (Photo by Craig Lord / Techopia)

In the debut episode of Techopia Live from KRP Properties, Jim Roche – president and CEO of Stratford Managers – came aboard to discuss shifting attitudes in Ottawa towards utilizing executive coaching and external advisors.

It’s a field Roche knows well: Stratford Managers, a Techopia sponsor, provides a variety of services to executives and companies in the midst of scaling up. The Ottawa tech veteran told Techopia Live that there’s an “appetite” for support and advisory services that didn’t exist a few years ago.

“I think the world has changed. There was a time when business coaches were perceived to be a negative … A coach was a remedial thing, it was not a good thing,” he said.

Today, it’s a sign of confidence: If a company is willing to seek executive coaching or employee training, it’s a signal that the firm is willing to invest in the individual in the long-term.

Roche says his firm hears from clients that are thriving as much as it hears from those that are struggling. It’s not a weakness to suggest someone who has been there might know better, he says, it’s a sign of humility.

Asking for help – and actually receiving it – is a phenomenon perhaps unique to Ottawa, Roche added. There are few tech cultures around the world where calling up the road to a neighbouring CEO, investor or mentor will be met with kindness, and that’s an asset to the Ottawa tech scene.

“People in Ottawa want to help each other… This is a very tight business community, and there’s a very high degree of willingness for people to help each other,” he said.

To hear Roche’s thoughts on which local CEOs he thinks can take their companies all the way to the top, as well as when it might be time for a founder to step aside, watch the full interview above.

Next Monday, guest Tom Camps of ChangeJar joins Techopia Live to discuss how the Ottawa fintech firm is hoping to lighten your pockets. On Wednesday, Better Software Co. founder Steve Cody joins Techopia Live from KRP Properties to talk about moving on from the startup and his latest endeavour. Watch both interviews live at 12:15 p.m. on Techopia’s Facebook page.