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June Newsletter

June 1, 2013




Dear Friends and Colleagues,

I often remind our clients that “The Street” never cares as much about them as they care about themselves.  Unless, of course, there’s something really bad happening in which case schadenfreude takes over and everyone pays really close attention. But on the day-to-day goings on of your operation; the ups and downs; the hires and fires; the wins and losses, fewer people care than you think.

It is with this dose of self-awareness that I point out some exciting changes at our firm. Next month we start our 5th year of operations.  Seemed like a sensible time to introduce a new look, logo and website. Over these past months, I have made the journey from skeptic to true believer on matters of firm branding (the theme of many of this month’s articles).  My ambivalence no doubt stemming from the classic Founder ailment:  a chronic inability to let go.  Of our symbolic tree, of our clever tagline, of our prairie blue sky bars and dot.   A reaction more sentimental than logical, I admit.

Having spent the past 7 months working with the superb team at Foundry Communications, first with a ‘brand audit’, which is just their clever way of politely letting you know that your existing concepts look like they were designed in your basement (true) on a shoestring budget (true) with input from your kids (also true).  After the brand audit and resulting report card (we passed), we committed to a strategic and creative journey; one not easily taken with the voices in my head screaming, ‘it ain’t broke, don’t fix it you fool’.  Yet, it became evident to us that upon stepping back, objectively assessing our strengths and critically addressing our weaknesses, there lay before us an incredible opportunity to reach more people and do more work without compromising the down-home values and boutique ideals that have made us successful.

As someone said to me at some point along the way, “you’re like the band that everyone loves hearing in a small venue because you’re so true to the music yet you want to play bigger stadiums and record more albums but the moment you do your fans will accuse you of selling out and turn on you.”  That’s as close as I’ll ever come to being a rock star, but it’s also a pretty good analogy.   How do we create a product that conveys to the broader market what we do without losing who we are? Balancing our roots in legal search with our ever-increasing work across all corporate services?   Walking the line between our penchant for having fun with our commitment to working hard? Continuing our stubborn refusal to advertise, relying solely upon referrals, relationships and reputation to grow our brand?  To wit, In a few short years we have successfully executed hundreds of searches, well beyond the core areas of expertise of the firm’s founding partners, namely law and accounting.  The opportunity to leverage our good name, explain our unique fee structure, highlight our expertise and do so in a way that doesn’t make you hate us…  That was the mission.

And so, in the days, weeks and months ahead you can expect us to continue to do the things we’ve always done but to spend a little more time and effort telling you about them. For starters, here’s a sneak preview from our soon-to-be-released brochure:




In short, our goal has been to get ourselves “invited to more parties.”  Typically, though not always, when we pitch we win.  When clients have the opportunity to see where we work and who we are; how we humanize instead of commoditize the process, and the lengths we go to keep our clients happy, good things happen.   We would like to hear less of “I didn’t know you guys did that” and more of “can you take this on, I hear you do that well.”  We want to be thought of as a search firm that not only gets results but that’s really fun to work with, unfailingly professional and deeply involved in our community.

On July 8th, the date of our next communication to you, we will reveal our new look, logo and feel and this long period of self-reflection and introspection will be over.  Clue:  We know you’ll like it.

But we also know you won’t really care.

Happy June!