When I was asked to host this issue of The Download, I was excited. When I learned it would be all about our people, I was inspired.
This is a people business. Our people are behind the ideas that drive the work. Our people bring the answers, solutions, service and spirit to everything we do. Our people are the head, the heart and the soul of what we do.
Businesses evolve and change over the years, as they should, but the one thing that is always at the core of what we do is “people.” And it is the people that drew me to Bader Rutter almost 30 years ago.
As a younger professional beginning my career, the mentorship I received from my leaders helped me learn and grow. I was encouraged to study my clients’ markets meticulously, expand my thinking to ask the right questions, hone (and update) my skills to keep them current, and provide value to my team and clients at every turn. I still see that “head first” mentality today. We remain a learning organization that prides itself on curiosity, smarts, strategy and skill. You’ll see proof of that in the “What we’re thinking about” section that features recent think pieces from some of our leaders. You’ll also see it in the strategy and hard thinking behind all the work featured here today.
But I think it runs deeper than the surface of professional acumen. In every discipline, at every level, in every role — our people have “heart.” They care about what they do. Truly, madly, deeply. They throw all of themselves into figuring out a problem or maximizing an opportunity. In fact, we have one small conference room that was completely transformed for pet inspiration to inspire creativity around a client’s challenge.
Bottom line: Our people are tenacious, inventive and driven to do the best work possible to guarantee their clients’ success. You’ll see this in the profile on our video production crew — a tight team of five that can produce at any scope and scale, from microbudget to blockbuster. It was their passion for the business that got them back on the ground and shooting safely well before others were. You’ll also see it in the pieces featuring our love of food and our love of farmers. We don’t just learn the work. We live it and love it.
Regardless, it’s the people.
Sometimes head is first and sometimes it’s the heart. We learn it to love it, or we love it so we learn it. The one thing that is certain in a people-centric business is that change is a constant. Things look very different today than they did when I started in this business. Our service mix has evolved to meet today’s digital communications needs. We have new ways of connecting with each other through technology. Our employee base is more diverse, bringing different points of view to the table. The way we look, think and act may be different, but what hasn’t changed is the drive and passion of our people. It’s central to who we are, and everyone benefits from that.
About the Author
With nearly 30 years at Bader Rutter, Linda Hogan currently serves as the chief operating officer, guiding the agency and overseeing key functions including Talent Acquisition, Learning & Development, Agile Workflow Implementation and Strategy/Planning. A champion of women in the workforce, Linda is an active member of TEMPO Milwaukee, an organization committed to further the impact of women leaders in the business community. As a committed change agent, Linda helped launch several agency culture programs including Health & Wellness, Women Supporting Women and Diversity & Inclusion Leadership Council, among others.