Recently Chernoff Newman announced changes in our leadership structure as we prepare for the next generation of growth and change. As I thought about the transition and what it means, I reflected on what Chernoff Newman still stands for 50 years after our founding.
I started at Chernoff/Silver 28 years ago when we had one office in downtown Columbia. Today’s Chernoff Newman has four offices in three states. Over these 28 years, I have been part of three strategically planned leadership transitions, five successful mergers or acquisitions, the opening of branch offices, four recessions and one (and only one, I hope) global pandemic.
This year marks our 50th year in business. What has changed and what have we held on to that has allowed us to succeed and adapt to all the evolutions in our industry?
One lesson I’ve learned through the years is that we can ignore change, fight it or embrace it. I am proud to say we have never avoided change. While this ability to adapt has helped us survive and thrive over the past 50 years, our core values haven’t changed.
We’ve let curiosity drive us to continually improve the work we do for our clients. This curiosity has made us nimble and pushed us to find new ways to help our clients connect with their customers and their stakeholders. Curiosity is one reason we encourage our clients to use solid research so we can dig deep into their customers’ perceptions and how they want to interact.
One of the pitfalls during periods of great change can be a reliance on tactical actions rather than strategic planning. The past year has shown us how important it is not to get lost in the weeds of implementation. We have continued to ask what we want to accomplish and why – both for our clients and our business.
Our focus is on strategic, original work that drives a positive bottom line for our clients.
We make sure we are driving strategic change for our business and our clients – not reacting to change coming at us. We look at where trends are going and how they can be relevant for our clients. We adapt to those trends at the right times to enhance our client services without displacing what’s already working.
I’ve seen first-hand how people can produce good work in a silo, but great ideas come from collaboration and working as a team. This is a true team environment where our clients are the most important member of the team.
The past year has thrown a lot at everyone, and Chernoff Newman quickly adapted to this new environment. We were already used to working with offices in three states and with clients across time zones. Yes, working from home with the added stress of kids in the house or slow internet presented challenges. But we already knew how to adapt and found ourselves not only growing our business but also realizing our clients needed our help more than ever. We were able to continue with the work we were already doing with them and added value to help them deal with the uncertainties ahead.
This strong agency culture with solid values has set the stage for success.
We never could have imagined how the strength of these company values would be put to the test as they have been over the past year. The resilience we’ve shown these past 12 months has demonstrated that we can adapt to almost anything.
But when you’ve got 50 years of commitment to strong values that we live out every day, it’s not surprising that we are coming out of these challenging times stronger than ever.
How can we help you prepare and adapt?
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