A recent award honors our totally unsexy “future proofing” strategy.


Sorry for missing a few weeks here and there recently.

Sure, the Bucks run is over. But it’s still summer in Wisconsin, and we’re also fortunate to be hot hot hot with work right now.

Last year was our best year ever, by far, in terms of growth and work quality.

This year marks another quantum leap.

And the best is yet to come.

If you want to know our boring secret, look no further than the latest award we received: an Honorable Mention for the MMAC’s Focus on the Future Awards—in the Talent category.

I included my winning submission below that describes our talent strategy.


We don’t do any innovative perks or benefits.

“Culture” is a word we rarely use.

And we’re not promising remote working forever or anything exciting like that.

Our formula is simple.

But first, here’s what we’re reading, watching, following and listening to:

Facebook ’em, Danno! Police recruiters turn to targeted ads to attract future officers who possess ideal characteristics, like benevolence and community-mindedness.

Gaming and streaming have seen considerable growth over the past five years, but small content creators are having issues with discoverability. Internet marketing strategies and SEO might be the key for them to get noticed.

We’ve been seeing a lot of clouds this week in Milwaukee – rain clouds that is. But let’s talk about that other cloud. Forbes released their Cloud 100 list (via Salesforce, naturally) and it includes some real thunderheads.

*Building an all-star team, NOT a team of all-stars*

Talent retention and client retention feed off each other in a virtuous cycle in our business. The health and growth of our company depends on recruiting and keeping people who get it, want it and have the capacity to do it, in Traction terms.

As a small, David agency pitted against an army of Goliaths, we need a slingshot to win; our slingshot is ruthlessly defending a culture that always puts the greater good of the team over any single individual.

Our methodology came from our mentor and partner Eric Coryell, aka “The Accountable Teams Coach”: work REALLY hard EVERY DAY on building teams who answer to each other rather than their managers.

Every day we resist “Midwest nice” passive aggressiveness by following Eric’s three communication guidelines:

  1. No “pairing” or gossip; if you have a problem with a teammate—no matter their rank or role—discuss it with them directly or in a group setting if necessary.
  2. Speak for yourself; make “I” statements not “we” statements.
  3. Use declarative statements to express your opinions, not passive or rhetorical questions.

With Eric’s guidance, we encourage everyone to embrace conflicts as “shared searches for the truth.” We encourage anyone and everyone to call team meetings to talk through really hard problems.

Full disclosure: we’re far from nailing it. We have all sorts of problems, from broken processes that have led to burnouts to personality clashes that negatively impacted our work… and that was just last week!

But we never stop working at it.

The result? In seven years, we’ve never had a single all-star quit the team.

And we just recruited two more—more to come on that!