Credit: Mélanie Plante (Flickr) 

When we thought about creating Brain+Trust Partners, we honestly struggled a bit. We knew we wanted to bring together partners who had significant experience with big brands, but we didn’t want to create a business model that was unsustainable. And we needed to launch quickly, which meant that we acknowledged that the company wouldn’t be whole on day one.

Our vision for growing the business and the very structure is unconventional, but one that will serve the needs of our clients and Brain+Trust. We’d like to share that vision with you in a completely transparent way and give you an opportunity to join us on this exciting journey.

Expanding Focus

While the team currently has a wide array of experience, we realize that we’re incomplete. One of the reasons we assembled is that we share some attributes, but we’re more complementary than overlapping. We are all executives steeped in digital, but we cover a range of marketing, communications, customer service, customer experience, the future of work and mobile, with automotive, financial services, technology, nonprofit, brand and agency experience.

But this list is incomplete; we need a deeper bench to round out our existing coverage of business functions and vertical markets. And we need to broaden those business functions and vertical markets. Areas of interest for us include:

  • Healthcare (medical, pharmaceutical)

  • Financial services

  • Sports / entertainment

  • CPG

  • Risk (cyber security, crisis)

  • Corporate social responsibility

  • Analytics

  • IT

  • Talent / HR

Two Talent Pools

In creating Brain+Trust, we realized that we needed to have seasoned executives at the core. The challenge—particularly for a startup—is that this might create a top-heavy organization with too many costs. Therefore, created two separate groups to help manage client work and balance the load on the business: Partners and Advisors.

When the five of us found ourselves in a position to be able to explore a consultancy together this summer, we quickly jumped at the chance. We had a limited time to craft a business plan, incorporate, and prepare for launch. Therefore, we decided to launch with a limited number of Partners. This number is not static, but we will grow it slowly and deliberately, as we look to fill functional and vertical gaps such as the ones mentioned above. We’re going to be looking for executives who, like us, have experience with big brands, share our business philosophy, and bring more diversity to our makeup.

The other group is a network of affiliated individuals called Brain+Trust Advisors. The network will work like this:

  • We’ll assemble a database of talent at all levels, to give us a wide array of freelancers for Brain+Trust client work.

  • When Brain+Trust has work that requires more time than the Partners have, or different areas of expertise, we will tap the network to join us. We’ll bring gigs to our Advisors.

  • The process will also work in reverse. If an Advisor has an independent assignment from outside of Brain+Trust that requires more resources, they can tap the Brain+Trust Advisors network for assistance.

  • Over time, as we work with certain Advisors more frequently, this could naturally lead to a partnership position for them—dependent on the circumstances, of course.

The Brain+Trust Advisors group reflects our belief in the gig economy and the reality that more employees want flexible work arrangements than ever before. Whether it means non-traditional hours, project work that gives them weeks off at a time, or simply the desire to work for an employer who understands that family comes first for many people, the employee of the 21st century now has the ability to demand those kinds of arrangements. We see it this happening with clients and we want to make it a reality for Brain+Trust Advisors.

If you have significant experience with a brand, either in house or at an agency where you’ve led work, and this sounds like something you might be interested in, please fill out our form to be considered for a Brain+Trust Advisor position. [Please note: simply filling out the form does not guarantee you a seat; we’ll be vetting the applicants for experience and fit.]

The Advisory Board

Every high-achieving startup has an advisory board, and ours is no different. We’re still assembling the group of respected industry veterans who will help guide us (remember we said we launched quickly?), and we expect to announce the members of our Advisory Board in the next two weeks. Based on those who have already accepted a position, we think you’ll like what you see.

We expect our Advisory Board to challenge us, to give us feedback, and to steer us in directions that we might not have seen for ourselves. When we asked them to join us, it as not to simply rubber stamp our ideas, but to serve in a capacity that could keep us growing and alert us to the changing needs of executives in the Fortune 500.

Our journey has just begun. We’re confident that we’re headed in the right direction and that we’re positioning ourselves to serve the smartest executives who have some of the greatest challenges. We look forward to sharing more with you as we grow.