Success Story: The Nerdery

Industry: Website and mobile application development

Pain Points: Fast-track growth, loss of president, transition to organizational mastery

The Challenge:

The Bailey Group’s Martha Carlson had been providing executive coaching for The Nerdery’s leadership team for four years when the unthinkable happened. Luke Bucklin, founding partner and president, was killed in a plane crash.

The Nerdery was in a great place, attracting top talent and growing profits, when it lost its top leader. Bucklin left behind an organization that had been wrestling with how to maintain company culture and its reputation as a leading Minnesota employer in the midst of significant growth.

The Solution:

Carlson made herself available to The Nerdery’s executive team and when they were ready, she got the call. “We need you. I don’t know how, but we need you,” Co-Founder and Chairman of the Board Mike Derheim told her.

Carlson attended executive committee meetings to help The Nerdery pursue its vision as “the happiest place for nerds to work” and the best possible interactive development partner for its clients, now without one of its key visionaries and leaders at the helm.

In 2011, Carlson and Leigh Bailey extended support to the next tier of leaders to help them redefine their purpose within the company, allowing the executive team to evolve from production-focused managers to full-time organizational leaders.

The Results:

During an extremely challenging time when many companies might fall apart, The Nerdery sustained growth and ranked No. 1 for the second consecutive year on the Minneapolis-St. Paul Business Journal’s Best Places to Work list. They were also named Emerging Business of the Year by The Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce.

The Nerdery has continued to focus on what it does best while partnering with clients as diverse as 3M and Calvin Klein.

Final Thoughts:

“The Bailey Group helped us through the hardest times our company will ever go through. They’ve been instrumental in empowering our emerging leaders to make decisions that keep The Nerdery moving forward—even after the loss of an irreplaceable friend and leader like Luke. Before his tragic death, Luke challenged all of his colleagues to be his co-presidents, and today our strength in numbers counts a few hundred living legacies who personify what co-president means to us.”

— Mike Derheim, Co-Founder and Chairman of the Board, The Nerdery