Having an idea is easy, and Rick has them in spades. However, turning ideas into something tangible and executable is bit more difficult. Because of his tenacity and grit, Rick can see an idea through to fulfillment. His imagination and creativity inspire him to focus and to apply enough sweat equity to see ideas become solutions.
Rick Thomas, President & CEO of The Chariot Group, began his career as an insurance agent. While it lasted just over six years, it provided a foundation for and perhaps even validated that he was an entrepreneur at his core. He was introduced to audiovisual technology soon after the multimedia projector was launched into the market and immediately recognized how incredible this emerging industry could be. In 1999, Rick and his wife, Denise, founded The Chariot Group, thus thrusting them both into a life of demanding, yet exciting, opportunities. Always one to interpret “challenges” as simple “provocations,” Rick has held firm in the belief that persistence, creativity, and the right attitude can propel anyone forward. Pairing this with his desire to lead, Rick created a business that has adapted and evolved through both successful and taxing times.
Rick gets up every day with the goal of improving communication and he behaves accordingly. He invites and inspires his team to think differently, consider alternate perspectives, and articulate both popular and unpopular ideas. He provides an environment where trying new things and joining the conversation is encouraged. By being transparent about his decisions, doubts, successes and failures, he empowers his team to be authentic communicators. Rick believes in “failing forward” and demonstrates to his team that open communication results in team acceptance, learning, and improvement.
The Chariot Group: An Audiovisual Services Company
Communication and collaboration are at the center of today’s enterprise. The Chariot Group enables businesses to improve the communication and collaboration required for success by reducing the distance between them, both literally and metaphorically. Rick’s dedicated staff designs, installs, and services technical solutions that help people interact better—whether across the table, the office or the world. His team also advises businesses on the most effective way to deliver their message, brand, or information to their intended audience. Also, the team provides the service, maintenance, and training needed to optimize the client’s investment.
The Chariot Group enjoys a reputation with both manufacturers and clients of being a leader in the audiovisual industry. The Chariot Group employees commit to their own professional development, exceptional service, and extreme accountability to earn that reputation.
The Chariot Group’s Upcoming Products and Services
Rick is well aware that innovation and growth do not happen in comfortable environments. He enjoys the turbulence that the AV industry is experiencing because it pushes him and his team to adapt, improve and create.
Because businesses depend upon effective communication and collaboration, they cannot afford “down time.” To that end, Rick has invested in creating a comprehensive service and preventative maintenance team that helps increase “up time” and ensures the clients are getting a strong return on their investments. The company also has developed a support web-portal for clients to create, track and manage their own cases.
In addition, Rick is acutely aware of the incredible capital investment needed for this technology, especially given the fact that The Chariot Group has multiple rooms fully outfitted with the latest components and equipment. He easily recognizes the value in a secure and comprehensive inventory management program and is working towards building additional services in this regard.
Finally, Rick knows the first-hand challenges affecting businesses, and he believes that no business is “secure” or financially sustainable without continual innovation, improvement and adaptation. In addition to sharing his thoughts regarding innovation and adaption on his blog, the Unknownium, he recently created a think tank, The Strive Group. Partnering with a broad range of consultants who specialize in innovative, adaptive solutions and change management, The Strive Group serves as a consortium of trusted advisors dedicated to being a change/leadership resource to U.S. businesses.
Rick’s mantra has always been “do good work, maintain the relationship and be profitable.”
Rick believes that if he and his team make a positive difference for clients, the rewards for The Chariot Group will fall into place naturally. His philosophy is applied internally to his company as well. Whether it is with protocols, processes or workforce issues, Rick incorporates his desire that all stakeholders enjoy a positive outcome. The success of The Chariot Group has validated that this types of culture results in greater engagement and commitment with staff to ensure business sustainability and profitability.
Achieving Goals with Roaring Pride
The role of The Chariot Group is that of a technology scout. For each client, the team looks ahead, analyzes the future and then reports back to the client. As such, the “DNA” of his team includes visionary and creative thinking, servant mentality, adaptive and flexible mindsets and the commitment to build something new. The team’s expertise and strong relationships with manufacturers support the client’s decision to invest in a technological solution. Moreover, the company adds design, expert service, training and a variety of other services that its competitors have not been able to emulate.
But at the heart of what separates The Chariot Group from its competitors is Rick. Embracing the fact that a whole new industry was born with the invention of audiovisual technology, Rick knows he is one of the lucky ones charged with paving the way for others. In an industry which has evolved so fast that it’s waiting on the consumers to catch up, he welcomes the challenge and enjoys the ambiguous adventure of it all. His positive attitude is contagious, as is obvious by the synergy he creates with his team, his partners, and his clients.
Over the next few years, collaboration tools and technologies will move from novelties to required, standardized systems. Business leaders, systems administrators and employees will expect these tools to be easy and intuitive. Due to the explosion of possibilities, there will be an increased need for consulting, research and support. There will be a drive toward standardization and compatibility as consumers demand a move away from proprietary systems.
Rick sees himself at the figurative hub of this. A fantastic networker, he will facilitate the required discussions that touch upon needs, desires, efficiencies and cost between manufacturers, consumers, distributors and other key stakeholders. Also, he will move the industry forward so businesses and the workforce can improve communication and collaboration, and thus be more efficient, profitable and sustainable.