HIGH FIVE! A Special Interview With RJ Hines


The Hinesight Group is starting a new series called "HIGH FIVE." In this series we will interview business leaders and ask them five key questions. First up will be our very own RJ Hines!

How does The Hinesight Group differentiate itself from other business consultancies in terms of its approach and offerings?

We realize there are plenty of consulting options out there. At The Hinesight Group, we differentiate ourselves through a personalized approach tailored to your unique company situation. Unlike traditional consultancies, we like to dig deeper through collaboration, delivering truly customized strategies, leadership mentoring, and fractional C-suite support for the long term. That means we can provide ongoing guidance as a company's business condition changes. Our success goes beyond a strategy, advice, or direction; it’s sharing in a company's long-term success. For many small and medium-sized businesses, the founder, owner, CEO, or partners may need an outside voice and perspective that can deliver guidance, direction, and true collaboration. Whether building a leadership team, providing individual mentoring, or developing go-to-market strategies, we can help.

In what ways does The Hinesight Group provide leadership support to client organizations, especially in navigating challenges or pursuing growth opportunities?

Obviously, there can be some commonality on areas of focus, but honestly, each individual and company that we work with is very different. We first do a discovery and then an assessment that helps guide us and our client. So, in no particular order, examples may include:

  • One-on-one coaching sessions to develop leadership skills.
  • Providing constructive feedback on performance and areas for improvement.
  • Offering guidance on decision-making and problem-solving.
  • Sharing personal experiences and insights to inspire and motivate.
  • Assisting in setting clear goals and creating action plans to achieve them.
  • Conducting leadership assessments to identify strengths and areas for development.
  • Facilitating leadership workshops or training sessions.
  • Acting as a sounding board for ideas and concerns.
  • Introducing individuals to relevant networking opportunities and resources.
  • Offering ongoing support and encouragement to navigate challenges and setbacks.

With a combined nearly 70 years of experience and expertise in various executive capacities, how does this diverse background contribute to the services The Hinesight Group offers?

Absolutely! Our journey through various industries has given us a unique perspective. We've seen firsthand the ins and outs of multi-unit retail and restaurants, financial services, software, technology services, primary industries, and more. This diverse exposure equips us with invaluable insights into industry-specific dynamics, trends, and best practices. So, when it comes to offering solutions, we're not just guessing. We know what works in your industry because we've been there, done that. Whether it's streamlining operations, spurring growth, or tackling industry-specific challenges, our breadth of experience ensures we deliver results that truly make a difference for your organization.

Can you provide some insights into the journey of The Hinesight Group from its inception to its current position as a provider of mentoring and project support?

I’ve always found myself humbled by the unpredictability of entrepreneurship. Venturing into the startup realm was daunting, filled with uncertainties and risks. Yet, by surrounding yourself with the right team, perseverance, and a bit of luck, startups flourished, even at times leading up to acquisitions and even liquidity events. However, amidst the stability and predictability working that larger firms provided, I felt more drawn to trying something on my own. It wasn't just about personal success anymore; it was about sharing the lessons learned and guiding others on their specific journeys. Yet, the prospect of stepping into the unknown as an independent advisor was pretty daunting. My decision to venture into independent consultancy was not made lightly. It required a humble acceptance of uncertainty and a willingness to learn from others. Knowing that success is not guaranteed, but through hard work, dedication, and a willingness to listen and adapt, I could make a difference to others and find personal satisfaction as well. As an independent advisor, I approach each client engagement with a sense of humility, recognizing that I am but a small part of their journey. It is not about showcasing my achievements, but rather about leveraging my experiences to support and empower others on their paths to success. Additionally, I’ve surrounded myself with like-minded talented experts to join me. Because no one should go on the journey alone.

Could you share some examples of successful projects or initiatives that The Hinesight Group has been involved in and the impact they've had on the client organizations?

I'm particularly proud of the work we do for Ultimax, at the time a wide format printer located in Denver, CO. I met Raji Alatassi, the President of the firm almost 5 years ago during my time as a CMO. Quickly we had a connection, born out of mutual respect. So when I made the decision to go it on my own, contacting Raji to talk about if I could help the business was the initial step. During my discovery, Raji was transparent about what currently was working but real areas of opportunity and challenges that can impact any small to medium-sized business. They were in a highly competitive industry, very commoditized, and one of the biggest challenges is “how do we differentiate ourselves.” First, Raji’s ability to embrace someone else’s ideas was paramount. The biggest challenge and roadblock for success for SMB entrepreneurs is sometimes themselves. Trying to keep your business afloat, retaining good employees, providing a great product or service, and delivering a great customer experience is daunting. So many owners, founders, and presidents develop “I need to do it myself” syndrome. You become so entrenched in the day-to-day; you don't give yourself the time to think bigger, differently, and develop true strategies for the future, while still “keeping the lights on.” Raji quickly embraced the idea that there could be another voice to listen, challenge, collaborate and to at times provide expertise in day to day operations. So over time I started to assist in: Sales and business development, Marketing, Branding, and Website improvement, On-going go-to-market strategies, Business Planning, Hiring and Recruiting, Collaboration on big-ticket item investment and partnerships, Analytics to drive operational efficiency, Leadership and mentoring decision-making, and more. The best part was identifying strengths of the business, and the opportunity to get the word out, to show the market that Ultimax was different was fully embraced. So over a 3-year period, the business has transformed itself into a POS Display, window wall, and floor graphic powerhouse. Helping companies like Anheuser Busch, 7-Eleven, Alta, and many others bring their ideas to life to attract more customers, more sales, and maintain brand standards. The result was more business, more clients, a stable and productive culture, and fully embracing and navigating the business challenges ahead. Learn more about them at www.ultimaxinc.com.