Chris Hart (partner)
Keeper of the Flame
"I tend to get called when there’s a desire for change but structure and approach are missing. I get hired for design."
Our thought leader on what we do and how we do it. Owner and chief interpreter of The Path to Sustainable Change. The first to say, "Everything’s going to be all right". We never know the full extent of what he’s up to. Comes from the arena of organizational effectiveness and sustainable culture change.
In it for the ideal of a community that works.
"I tend to get called when there’s information, there’s knowledge, there’s a sense of direction, but people aren’t connected. I get hired for relationship."
He’s out amongst them. Helping, teaching, inspiring. Feeling what’s needed, sensing what’s missing. Fighting the good fight. Loyal to the mission and the people on the ground. We never know who’s going to decide that "Let’s call Ish" is the answer to their problem. Comes from the disciplines of appreciative storylistening and experiential learning.
In it for the journey that reroutes a life.
Bill Seyle (partner)
"I tend to get called when there’s complexity, or ambiguity, and they need someone to make things clear. I get hired for clarity."
Understands that nothing matters until there’s a word for it, nothing lasts unless there are memorable phrases to describe it, and nobody cares unless there’s a good story about it. We never know what he’s reading. Comes from the worlds of executive speechwriting, strategic communication and investor communication.
In it for the sentence that changes everything.
Abby Lewis (Elliott) (consultant)
Chief Ducks-in-a-Row Officer
"I tend to get called whenever someone needs to think about how something is actually - no kidding - going to work. I get hired for details, logistics and follow-through.”
How many hotel rooms? Which loading dock to ship to? Why shouldn't the parade turn left there? What's the room set-up? Has anyone confirmed the guest speaker? Every "i" dotted, every "t" crossed, all your ducks in a row? Abby's on it! Plus, a people person of the highest order - that's her in this TV commercial.
In it to make sure it actually works.
Andy Montgomery (CONSULTANT)
“I tend to get called when there’s confusion, or entropy. I get hired to make sense of it all.”
In 1990, in the Lesser Antilles, on the Isle of Saint Lucia, a young business school grad sat down in his Peace Corps office and started pointing and clicking on the Macintosh computer. He said, “I can do this.” He’s been doing it ever since. You bring him your random thoughts and he gives you back a visual clarification.
In it to make sense of things, and then draw a picture of it.
Chris Calip (consultant)
“I tend to get called when the question is, 'Do we need an app for that?' I get hired when there is a boatload of backend functionality to figure out."
Second-generation programmer. First kid on his block to have his own personal computer. Undergrad in computer information science; working toward a master’s degree in computer science. Under-the-hood guy for sr4’s Capacitype application for vigorous network-building.
In it for all the multilayered software challenges, organizational issues and design quandaries out there waiting to be resolved.
Erin Jones (principal)
"I tend to get called when something isn’t working right. I get hired to fix the problem – whatever it is."
Our version of The Wolf, in Pulp Fiction ("I’m Winston Wolfe. I fix things.") Her quote would be, "If I can Google it, I can do it." She does it all the time. Came to sr4 as Career Option B – after her ambition to become the last great cartographer was dashed by Google Maps. Her master’s degree in geography and environmental studies is one of our hidden assets.
In it to make things work.
Harrison Stamell (Consultant)
Mr. “Yes, and…”
"I tend to get called when the old ways no longer work, and a new way forward is needed. I get hired for innovation."
With his background in the Chicago improv community, Harrison says, “I love ‘Yes, and…’” – meaning he is prone to accepting things as they are, but with an obligation to add new information. At work, that has resulted in taking intentions at face value and revamping practices and procedures to fulfill those intentions at higher levels.
In it for a life of collaborative creativity.
Jake Elster (consultant)
"I tend to get called when there’s ambiguity on a very large scale. I get hired to come up with a plausible way forward."
Triple major in anthropology, international studies and humanities. Masters in the science of learning and organizational change. Mobilized communities in Uganda, did outdoor education with the Navajo Nation, free-lanced in Geneva. The guy we turn to when we’re way out on a limb.
In it to be on the frontiers of learning.
Jason Bell (CONSULTANT)
“I tend to get called when teams need to connect and share.”
Comes from a background of exploring the intersection of cultures, and why people believe what they believe. Eventually fell in love with solving problems in digital space. Listens before he speaks, formulates paths forward, helps groups of people become better at what they do.
In it to learn, explore and grow.
Jay Casady (associate)
"I tend to get called when there are teams trying to do something new – or learn how to work together. I get hired to make teams better.”
There are things that, if you get it wrong, somebody can get hurt. Then there are ways of handling things that, if you do it right, someone can have an experience that lasts a lifetime. Jay gets that. He studied it in college, and he’s done it for real.
In it for the pursuit of unbounded possibility.
KAT SHIELDS (CONSULTANT)
The Inner Circle
"I tend to get called when there’s a sales leadership issue that requires experience in the inner circle. I get hired to see things through the eyes of the leader who will be held accountable."
Whether it’s a sales initiative, an account management team or a training program, Kat has led it in the pharmaceutical and specialty pharmacy industry. And she’s done it across the life cycle – from startup to high growth to realignment. If it’s about sales leadership, she has stood where you’re standing now.
In it to help find the way forward in healthcare.
Kate Jones (consultant)
"I tend to get called when there's a need for collaboration. I get hired to encourage partnering and help people move together in a positive direction."
Certified wilderness guide who veered off the trail, went to grad school, and then headed out to the Silicon Valley, where she found herself leading a global team devoted to standardizing the multinational technology platform of a dot-com success story. One of our favorites for getting groups together to work things out and find their way forward.
In it for the good of the whole.
Kim Ferrer (consultant)
"I tend to get called when there are a lot of moving parts to something. I get hired to make sure we get where we’re going, no matter what happens along the way."
Sees all the pieces of a puzzle and gravitates to the point of greatest need. When conditions on the ground are nothing like the conditions planned for – Kim is our rock. Corporate background in marketing, advertising and HR – and brings the skills of all three to our thought processes.
In it like the Three Musketeers: "All for one and one for all".
Lauren Howey (Consultant)
"I tend to get called when there’s a need to connect, and the visual sense is a way in.”
Data, made simple. Environments, made real. Text, made approachable. Concepts, made dimensional. Brands, brought to life. Initiatives, bestowed with identities. How do we know what we’re talking about if we can’t see what it looks like? That’s why Lauren’s at the table – before all the decisions are made.
In it for the visual that turns a head, and touches a heart.
Captain Creative (aka Word Geek, Jr.)
"I tend to get called when there’s a desire for new ideas, and a little storytelling wouldn’t hurt."
A former teacher and journalist whose work has appeared in Harper’s, National Geographic, The New York Times Magazine, Smithsonian, and on the radio program This American Life. Ran a writing center with a core belief in the magic of peer-to-peer tutoring. Led a team of exhibit developers for a museum. Superpowers include close listening, deep clarifying, compassion, and the ability to connect with anyone.
In it for the sweet spot where narratives come together and everyone feels heard.