• Good Jobs Transformation at Mud Bay

    Mud Bay is a chain of 44 pet stores in northwestern U.S. In April 2014, the CEO of Mud Bay Lars Wulff discovered the Good Jobs Strategy by Zeynep Ton while holding his sleeping daughter on his lap. He immediately devoured the book and decided he had to share it with his entire executive team. He then organized a company-wide reading group, using a curriculum created by Lars to discuss the book (in six person, cross-functional conference calls) over a period of eight weeks.

    See the effect of Good Jobs Strategy on Mud Bay's customers, employees, and performance.
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Co-CEO Lars Wulff on Mud Bay's Good Jobs Transformation

Approach - Mud Bay's 5 Pillars

Their next step was to create a strategic planning team that was composed of people from all levels of the organization, including six store managers elected by their peers, six home office staff elected by their peers, three district managers and the five members of our exec team. At the first meeting of the group (which became called "The Twenty") the executive team transferred authority to set Mud Bay's strategic direction to this new strategic planning team, reserving only the right to prevent Mud Bay from making any highly risky decisions.

Staff begin taking a GJS training with the goal of 100% completion by all staff before the annual meeting. The training was also subsequently incorporated into new muddies’ initial 90-day curriculum.

#1 Invest in Our Staff
#2 Deliver more by offering less at everyday low prices
#3 Cross-Train and Operate with Slack
#4 Standardize our processes and empower staff through continuous improvement
#5 Partner with organizations that contribute to the welfare of animals


Effect on Customers
  • Yelp, Google and Facebook reviews now average 4.8-4.9 out of 5
  • An increase in "customer love letters" with people being astonished by their customer experience
Effect on Employees
  • 18% pay increase from 2013 to 2016
  • % of employees working >30 hours/week increased from 65% in 2013 to 82% in 2017
  • Employee turnover reduced from 45% in 2013 to 33% in 2016
Effect on Mud Bay
  • Average same-store sales growth 6.5% from 2011-2013 (pre-GJS) versus 11% from 2014-2016.
  • Employee attitude towards growth shifted from fear to seeing "growth as the creation of opportunity."
  • Mud Bay can now embrace other strategic opportunities.

For us now, that is a constant stream - of these love letters, people being just astonished by their experience. We did not have that level of customer love just three and a half years ago

–Lars Wulff, CEO

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