“What we got here is a failure to communicate.”

Bromide popularized in “Cool Hand Luke”

Be thoughtful. (Then be strategic.)

You can’t swing a dead cat without hitting someone—or some consultant—who says they do things strategically. But with all of these strategic thinkers out there, why do so many people—politicians, talking heads and corporate executives—often act tactically instead of strategically? They do it because it offers the illusion of immediate gratification. They do it because the pressures of a constant news and information cycle make it seem appropriate. But above all else, they do it because somewhere along the way they forgot to be thoughtful. The result? Goals (message delivery, public opinion shift, sales numbers, etc.) aren’t met. Thoughtfulness is the antecedent to strategy—or it should be. So that’s where we start.

“[A] sculptor doesn’t keep adding clay…. [He chisels] away at the inessentials….”

Bruce Lee

Write tight. Cultivate simplicity.

The world is complex. Language barriers. Cultural chasms. Border wars. And that’s just in your industry. Heck, it may be in your office. Knowing what to say, how to say it, when and to whom to say it can be hard. So it’s nice that brevity (and we’d add simplicity too) is still the soul of wit. We think the period remains the absolute best piece of punctuation. Ever. Our emphasis on writing tight and making the complex comprehensible doesn’t mean straying from the voice or appropriateness of a written piece. (It’d just be strange, for example, to have a serious speech about a policy issue written in the same voice as a tongue-in-cheek op-ed.) Our mantra? Brevity. Clarity. Simplicity.

“I never did give them hell. I just told the truth, and they thought it was hell.”

Harry S Truman

Yes ma’am. But not yes men.

If you’re facing an emerging or imminent business threat, the worst thing in the world is to have everyone around you play it safe and tell you what you want to hear. If you want sycophants, don’t hire us. When we’re retained, we give our best advice based on experience, assessment, investigation and knowledge of your company or issue and the broader landscape. We’re from Nashville and abide by most tenets of Southern hospitality. So we’ll be polite. But politeness will never trump sound advice. We’re focused on giving you the counsel you need, not necessarily what you want to hear.