IT WAS 36 YEARS AGO today that I first hung the shingle of my new little company, C. C. Rigg’s, an advertising studio. I wish I could say I had a big vision, a grand idea, or even a sketch of a business plan that resulted in the firm that’s known today as Riggs Partners. But none of those is true. I was simply young, rather impetuous, and committed to the belief that good work would succeed. I also didn’t know what I didn’t know, and good heavens looking back that was a key element in my naive new venture’s eventual success.
Unequivocally, there are two things I’ve done well. First, I’ve been an excellent hirer. So many gifted folks have been a part of our story, and even today there are those hardy (and heart-y) souls who still are here ten, twenty, even thirty+ years later. Their smarts and dedication have built something good, and their commitment has allowed me to slowly step back these last few years from the day-to-day. For that—and so much more—I am immensely grateful. And second, which is the real point of this post, our firm has been focused on evolution every single day since that founding. This is in our DNA, and it’s no exaggeration.
Part of it, I think, is the nature of the business we are in. Change is a constant in the arena of marketing and communications, and in that respect it is our duty to keep our finger on the pulse that beats at the intersection of culture and business. But there is more to it even than that. Change is a life imperative. Change is the life imperative, I would actually say, and so our most central Riggs Partners’ practice of constant re-examination of All The Things and our willingness to change in concert with (or even ahead of) all those things has benefitted our company, our clients and our community.
THIS IS HOW the grand “all” works, after all; it’s what nature, our greatest teacher, demonstrates. Change is nature’s constant, and as we pass from one season to the next, each carries with it the demand that we not only notice (hello, autumn) but that we, too, move on. I was reminded of this over these past couple of weeks as I spent time in the North Carolina mountains where this year’s colors were spectacular, and stunning. They’d been making their slow turn from green green green to gold, and burgundy, and the brightest fall orange, when there we were right on the precipice, two days, maybe, from peak and BOOM what did nature do but serve up SNOW.
And then it snowed, and snowed, and snowed.
It was disconcerting, I’ll tell you that, this crashing of seasons in a grand juxtaposition between warm and cold, color and white, golden and gray. Even the earth herself seemed a little perplexed. I couldn’t help but consider how even in the changing of seasons, nature does not let us get too comfortable. She seeks to always, always keep us open to the unexpected.
It has been a joy to spend my career as part of an organization made up of people who are always looking to evolve, to grow and to deepen. And it’s no doubt why—36 years later—we’re still vibrant, relevant, and independent. I am proud, mighty proud, of that accomplishment, and on this day of quiet celebration, I salute my coworkers just as we continue looking forward to whatever, for us, comes next.
Note: The intro image is our amazing Riggs Partners crew, CreateAthon 2023. Read more here about CreateAthon, the 24-hour marketing marathon we founded in 1998 that to date has resulted in more than $24 million in pro bono services.