JKWhitehead & Associates

Taking a Chance on Coaching – Video Case Study

Taking a Chance on Coaching – Video Case Study

Derek Hodgins is the CEO of High Roller Games, a local games company based in Kelowna BC. They specialize in making custom games for big brands like Trailer Park Boys, Vikings and Bob Marley. Derek states that it was always a dream job to be able to go ahead and create games. Then ten years ago Derek and a group of friends started talking about it. Five years later it became real and a company was formed with their first game. It has been a long journey, with some ups and downs, mostly ups. Today they are a successful small business with 10 team members, designing and producing board games and apps.

Derek initially did not realize that he needed a coach. He was unaware of what coaching was and did.  While at an event a few years ago a good friend of Derek’s introduced him to me, after a couple of conversations Derek made the commitment to try out coaching.


Early in the coaching relationship, Derek recognized of the importance of finding out about the inner workings of his organization. “[coaching] led me along the lines of information I was unaware of to begin with. That was really key for me, I felt a bit enlightened on some new perspectives”.  Derek explains that one of his biggest aha moments was recognizing the roles everyone played in the organization and everyone’s behaviour and communications styles, “…it really helped me open my eyes to the different perspectives amongst the team, and how we can better engage with each other. That was really an eye opener for me.”

Derek goes on to state, “it wasn’t a fast switch for us to all of a sudden … It didn’t happen right away. … we were able to look at it from the standpoint that we were going to be able to work together better, …We were not going to be able to change overnight, but at the same time we knew the communication was really key for us, to be able to work better together in the foreseeable future. … it really did help us, the identifying of the personality traits. … and to be able to move forward, to be able to have inner team communication”.

Coaching got Derek thinking about his organization, how to improve systems and working with his team. “As I progressed further with this search for bettering the company and bettering myself; it really turned into something that I was actually surprised by. To actually want to go further, rather than looking at it was a chore or real effort. I actually found myself thinking about it more and more. What can I do better here? What can I do better there? So that’s been just fantastic”.

A coach is often a sounding board, Derek states that it is all about the right type of questions, at the right time. Finding answers that a client has been looking for. That is something that a coach can do well. A coach gets the client to think a little bit differently, maybe outside their comfort level, outside of their comfort zone. To look at things just that little bit differently. Just by asking questions.

“John was able to ask me the right kind of questions at the right time. That was surprising for me. I didn’t really expect that. It was something that kind of caught me off guard. I was actually surprised by it, because usually when you’re talking to someone, they don’t all of a sudden hop in and ask a question. Usually once I get rolling on something I am very focused, I might be a bit long winded sometimes….What John [was] able to hop in at key moments and ask the right kind of question. It made me think about the topic at hand in a different way. That was really unusual for me, and at the same time, more importantly enlightening. It made me feel like, wow this is a new perspective, I will take that in and– I might seem to make a note of it on the spot. But that was really helpful. …. I am just so rolling along and wanting things to just keep moving for the company, you kind of get wrapped up, and not actually think about how this might be effecting you. If you actually think of it like that then– it actually helps you be more productive, more efficient, and actually helps you more in the long term. That’s been amazing”.

“John has been great for me, right from the beginning I knew that we had a great connection. This is– it’s easy for me to recommend him to anyone that I come across. He has allowed me to look at the issues at hand, the different departments within my company, and of course externally as well with a new perspective. That has just been very powerful for the growth of our company in developing the niche of our company– it’s been amazing. These last two years have really taken off for us”.


For more information about High Roller Games go to, https://highrollergames.ca/

Please follow and like us: