Blog: Scott Trudeau

In today's interactive web world, businesses in the Great Lakes region need to be more than just a flash in the big 'ole pond. Avid windsurfer Scott Trudeau, president of Daggerfin, a growing creative services agency, will dish on marketing and branding for the little guy and how we can attract more creative types to the area.

Scott Trudeau - Post 4: Growing Our Company in Present Day Michigan

What's it like growing a company amidst this gloomy recession in Michigan? I've been asked this more times in the past two years than I can count. My response is simply that our firm would cease to exist if we waited for the perfect time to grow. There's only the present and the unique set of circumstances that it brings. It's really just a matter of perspective.

The present time is the perfect time.

Nothing remains constant. I believe you're either moving forward or backward at any given moment. By looking through this lens, I view challenges as an opportunity that can be leveraged. Obviously, Michigan is in a period of uncertainty, yet all of us who call this state our home also have an incredible opportunity. We have a chance to innovate and create new paths that never would have been seriously considered in the past. There's a shift in perspective pushing all of us to look at things differently. That's why I believe the current recession has a silver lining and why I also believe the present is always the perfect time. Present circumstances (whatever they may be) simply provide a set of parameters to help shape a strategy to move forward.

One could look at the current recession from two perspectives. The first perspective is that critical circumstances can serve companies well to inspire, innovate, and reinvent, ultimately creating better and stronger organizations in the process. Another perspective is that lean times scare organizations into circling the wagons and going into an extremely conservative and defensive mode. I believe this latter position is ultimately a losing strategy. The economy will improve. Companies that have managed to survive by adopting a defensive mode fail to offer value in a new evolving landscape where old practices have become largely irrelevant.

Events today are helping us think of new ways to be effective tomorrow. Companies that primarily focus on defense with disregard to offense will find themselves trailing competitors that were willing to act boldly and position themselves for ever changing and evolving markets.

Playing defense will be replaced with playing catch up. Not a good cycle to be caught in. I believe organizations can leverage lean times to break out of this cycle if they currently find themselves in it. We did.

Attracting the best people.

There's an endless supply of talent in our field. So, great talent is expected when someone interviews at the firm. We look beyond talent, we want to know the person and understand what motivates them. Do they truly buy into the mission for our clients and the firm? We look for people who are aligned with our approach to think differently, collaborate, explore new ideas, and be supportive of everyone's success. It's a win, win, win. For our clients, our associates and our firm.

Our agency is nothing but a building with four walls without the people and mission that is distinctively Daggerfin. Our vision, culture, and our own brand promise acts as a lighthouse guiding our team and keeping us excited about the future everyday. It pushes us to constantly evolve, improve and create opportunity. Everyone at the firm understands that being nimble, embracing change and continually finding better ways to do something is what propels us forward. The firm has a genuine entrepreneurial approach.

Our culture has evolved from years of trial and error. We value our culture and we're constantly working to nurture it. I believe this approach is instrumental for the manifestation of any company's vision, and it keeps people motivated during difficult times.