Getting to Know the Leaders of Peer Insight
CEOs of present and past share rapid-fire responses to questions from how we live our firm's guiding principles to Bay Area weather.
What does it mean to be CEO of Peer Insight?
I joined Peer Insight mostly because of the work we do, but I stay and I serve now as CEO also because of the way we do it. Every day I’m fueled by the way we collaborate in an entrepreneurial, gratitude-filled way both in the office and with our clients.
CEO of Peer Insight is the caretaker-in-chief. Our people are amazing; our clients are amazing; the CEO’s job, therefore, is to ensure that the collaboration at every level, within and between every amazing individual and group, is running optimally.
Being CEO means something very different today than it did in 2011 when Natalie joined us as a Director. Back then we were a practice, today we’re a firm. We look to our CEO to set the shared vision so we aren’t all over the map with interesting experiments that don’t make our clients more successful.
Peer Insight Guiding Principle most used in 2017?
“Being Radically Open” has been what I’ve seen play a key role in shaping the firm over the past year. Transparency helped lay a strong foundation for these larger changes in 2018 in leadership and location, but we also pushed ourselves into getting stronger as individuals and as a team in having “upset” conversations. Conflict happens in the community and we are enhancing our ability to grow from it.
“Expressing Gratitude” – by being explicitly grateful, particularly in times of extreme growth - when the time is in short supply for everything - we create uplift that can sustain high-quality performance much longer than might be assumed possible. It builds the healthiest kind of resilience possible.
“Honor Small Teams.” As the elder Jedi, I’m sometimes tempted to retreat to a remote island. But the Peer Insight polymaths keep teaming up to create new questions, new frames, and new solutions. Collaboration at that level of trust makes this field Newer Every Year.
What’s a hidden secret about the other two?
Tim: he drinks more whole milk than any adult I know and we share a Rapid City SD connection. Clay: his work alter ego is Claynana, which is naturally a banana with a picture of Clay I draw on it in sharpie, who shows up occasionally to meetings.
Natalie is a fruit artist. Tim trains for his rock climbing in our stairwell, so if you hear loud footsteps ...
Clay claims to love the Chelsea football side, but I just think he adopted it because he’s a morning person and it comes on the telly early. Natalie has a secret super-power: She doesn’t look back. Can you imagine how much energy that would free up?
San Fran Winter or DC Winter?
I’m from Baton Rouge, so prefer no winter, though I am enjoying the drama that is the 2018 DC winter thus far.
Trick question. I don’t think “winter” is a thing in SF; they do more of a wet season and a dry season. But I’ll take those temperatures year-round without a complaint.
I need four seasons, so I’ll take the DC winter. But I’m definitely going to visit the SF office during summer, when the snow melts in Yosemite.