One of America’s finest defining characteristics is our longstanding history and tradition of entrepreneurship: Going out on your own. Hanging out a shingle. Taking the risk to start something new.
That is exactly what Dean Fischer, Susan Stelter, Matt Rager and I did, 15 years ago. With a clean slate and no clients, we met at Miller’s Pub in Chicago. On a bunch of napkins, we sketched out our ideal consulting firm. The words on those napkins included respect for diverse experience and thought, practical innovation, and quality over growth. Not insignificantly, one of them was fun. Our business is hard work. But if we’re doing it with people we enjoy and respect, why shouldn’t it be fun?
Those humble words, our values, continue to guide us every day, from how we consider future investments, to how we welcome new employees, to how we treat our clients – like we wouldn’t exist without them. Because we wouldn’t. While our values have always put our people first, we would not enjoy the success and reputation we do today without the trust and confidence of our clients.
It has been a privilege to live the ultimate dream of an entrepreneur and continue our country’s distinctive legacy.
In two weeks, employee owners from across our 10 offices will gather to reflect on the past, celebrate the present, and map an even brighter future. I could not be more motivated to get working on that future — one where our uncommon blend of business-minded technologists and technology-minded business people will become our next generation of leaders.
To our clients: It has been a privilege to live the ultimate dream of an entrepreneur and continue our country’s distinctive legacy. Thank you for 15 years of opportunities to collaborate, innovate, make a real difference, and, yes, also have fun along the way.