We sat down with Nexight Group’s CEO Jack Eisenhauer and Executive VP Ross Brindle to reflect on the company’s journey to this point and hear about their thoughts on the future.
Q: Why did you found Nexight Group?
Jack: Ross and I started Nexight Group with a simple idea. We saw that industry and government leaders often needed to engage teams of experts and stakeholders to tackle tough problems, but the tools and processes they used for these engagements were usually pretty crude and inefficient. So, having conducted more than 200 facilitated planning sessions on six continents covering a variety of topics, we were confident that we could make these engagements more productive. Simply put, we use highly effective collaboration tools that save time and get results.
Ross: Jack and I also wanted to create a working environment where collaboration rules the day. We both feel strongly that working side-by-side with other smart people leads to better work that offers more value to our clients. Everything we do at Nexight, from the way we structure project teams to the physical layout of our office, is meant to encourage collaboration.
Q: How does Nexight Group to stand apart from other consulting firms?
Jack: I think the thing that sets Nexight Group apart is that we are always pushing the envelope to develop innovative planning and evaluation techniques to keep up with our clients’ changing world. Too often consulting firms merely recycle and resell their existing products. There’s nothing wrong with that, but at Nexight Group we look to invent new techniques as well as apply the ones that have proven so successful in the past. Another distinguishing feature is our top notch communications team. Our clients tell us that our ability to clearly explain and visualize complex ideas is one of the things that really sets us apart.
Q: What is the most significant lesson you learned during the development of the company?
Ross: Relationships matter. Several of Nexight’s first clients were people I had worked with for many years. These people were happy, indeed eager, to do business with Nexight because we had built a trusting, mutually beneficial relationship. Also, during our first year we had several former clients—people we had not worked with in years—reach out to hire Nexight. We must constantly earn their loyalty and trust through hard work, careful listening, and an unwavering commitment to excellence.
Q: Who was originally part of your team and how has that changed?
Jack: We started with a team of six very talented people with backgrounds in engineering, business, economics, and technical communications. We now employ more than 20 people who have a broad range of experience and skills, including two PhD’s in materials science.
Q: What is one accomplishment from the past five years that stands out to you?
Ross: More than 70% of the contracts Nexight has received during our first five years were from customers who had hired us before. This level of repeat business tells me that we are delivering on our brand promise of exceptional work, every time. I’m proud that we can earn such loyalty among our clients, because it tells me we keep creating value for them.
Jack: I think it comes down to our people. We have built a team of exceptionally smart people who are able to quickly adapt to any task. We mentor and constantly challenge them and they always deliver. We also started something we call Nexight Academy, which is our internal training program. We find that many consulting firms don’t adequately train their employees. Nexight Academy includes courses to develop all types of skills, from the mundane to the highly sophisticated.
Q: What has changed most about the company over the past five years?
Jack: Certainly much has changed. Our client base is now much larger; our services and offerings have expanded; we moved to bigger office space; and we now have employees in several states. But, perhaps more important is what has stayed consistent. Ross and I have worked hard to build a company culture that values creativity, intelligence, passion, and hard work. We maintain this by challenging our people to push themselves, develop new skills, and set a high standard of excellence for all their work products.
Q: What is your vision for the company over the next five years?
Ross: In many ways, I imagine the next five years resembling the past five years. I expect we will continue to improve our products and services, add talented colleagues, expand our client base, and enjoy personal and collective success.
Overall though, I strongly believe our constant commitment to excellence and innovation will guide us in the years to come. That may sound generic, but I believe these values are why clients continue to demand our services. By delivering exceptional work every time, we make our clients look good, earn their trust, and build strong, lasting relationships with them, which leads to repeat business and referrals.
I also see us building deeper subject matter expertise, both in fields where we work today and areas we see as growth opportunities for the future. Stronger expertise in subjects like infrastructure protection and resilience, energy and climate change, advanced manufacturing and materials, and global health, complemented by new expertise in data analytics, cybersecurity, and other emerging fields will allow us to provide more insight and deliver more value to clients. The Nexight team is smart, creative, and intellectually curious. That means we love the challenge of working smarter, faster, and better. I know that we’ll keep this momentum going for the next five years and beyond.