Career Design and Innovation Resource

Who We AreWho We Are

The career maze can be a confusing journey. We believe a career can be navigated with grace, no matter how unexpected the turns. Open Colony is here to help people and companies alike develop and lead exquisite work paths.

Our careers are the daily experiences that shape us and our relationships. A career reflects how our dreams, values, and personalities take form. Careers must be fulfilling, not merely provide sustenance.

Horace said that character depends upon one’s connections to the world. Character in Open Colony is an expression of loyalty and a mutual commitment to the pursuit of life-long goals. We believe in sustainable sentiments.

We look to nature for inspiration. Healthy ecosystems necessarily depend on and are structured around diversity, efficiency, resilience, cooperation, and balance. Our society, economy, and livelihood are no different.

We explore reinvention for people, companies, and industries. Innovation often means disruption. Success requires both short-lived and long-term strategies for change; tools that embrace both agility and continuity year after year. We are expert at fostering evolution.

Innovation happens through great institutional design. It occurs at the intersection of individual, social, cultural, financial, environmental, and political capital. The more capital we have, the greater our obligation to enable individuals, organizations, and societies to flourish. Open Colony donates time and money to the causes we believe in. From the outset, social entrepreneurialism has been fundamental to our business.

Open Colony is guided by
four core principles


“To thine own self be true”. If we don’t mind Shakespeare, we will all be miserable. We believe that without introspection—let alone the virtues of empathy, fairness, and wisdom—understanding is all but impossible. These ideals are critical to making informed and sound decisions


Trust serves as the foundation of healthy relationships. And transparency is the lifeblood of trust.


Like the rich ecosystem of a healthy prairie thriving because of hundreds of species of grass, we work with a variety of thinkers and leaders who bring a distinct skill set to the table and who enrich our collective curiosity and wisdom.


To be truly integrated, an open and generous culture must prevail. Integration means comprehending the entire landscape for our candidates and clients. Premier search requires a clear understanding of the opportunities within people, between people, and between people and institutions.

We break the traditional executive search mold in five significant ways:


We Are a Prism

We provide a highly tuned interface to the industry, a sophisticated navigation system through the maze of the work world, identifying new ideas and opportunities for the industry.

Many executive search companies suffer from the same regimented, siloed model that the industry does. Small firms are limited by their niche focus, while large firms stumble from a business model that is blind to collaboration among disciplines and industries. Great talent falls through these cracks.

We find the right talent by asking “horizontal” questions across disciplines and industries while corroborating our findings with “vertical” experts who specialize in a particular field. This agile, “T-shaped” approach brings you the best talent in the industry. It also informs our organizational design solutions, industry analysis and experience design.


We Like Systems

Open Colony’s talent assessments begin with systemic analyses of how organizations and markets work. We do not attempt to fit a priori personality characteristics into organizational cultures. Instead we match candidates’ values, passions, and talents with organizational and market needs. We believe that the ways in which candidates define themselves and create meaning in their work lives affect their capacity for success. In this regard, we assess candidates’ leadership, interpersonal, T-shaped, and multicultural attributes based on their work experience.

Our analysis is founded on work in industry, with input from our trusted CEOs & COOs, design and development executives, HR innovators, and social scientists. Our experience means we deftly define the key dependencies and drivers for your search, company, and market.

Our conversations with leading talent begin long before we explore a specific role, so by the time we present candidates to you, we have multiple reasons why these individuals are a match for your team.


Talk is Cheap

Executive search often rests on the laurels of brand security, known players, and entrenched payment models. While we have a deep Rolodex, we believe that the executive search field can benefit from entrepreneurial disruption. We are a retained search firm whose fees depend upon performance.


Track It

We track our work over time. We provide you with dynamic scorecards to assess the information you need to keep your team informed as you grow your organization. We partner with research and data visualization partners to keep us ahead of the pack.



An idea is only as good as its execution. We have an execution ethos. And we have a predilection for leaders who not only know how to conceptualize big ideas, but to realize them at the highest level of craft.