Crane: Unfold Your Story

Portrait of a CRANE

CRANE is a dynamic organization, ever-evolving and continually building, and our agility is cumulative, collective, and composite—because we exist at the meeting place of several very different minds. CRANEs are artists and diplomats. Introverts and extroverts. Contemplative mullers and clear-eyed managers. Those who home in on details with laser-like precision and those most comfortable surveying the full landscape at 30,000 feet.

But we share certain defining values and traits, connecting us to each other personally, bonding our teams with our clients professionally, and unifying our entire group ideologically to ensure we do CRANE work beautifully, bravely, and brilliantly.

We are unicorns.

A CRANE is magical and rare, possessed of unique talents that are not far short of mythic. She creates images that dazzle or copy that sings, and messages that seduce and convince. She spins delicate relationships with clients, choreographs intricate dances of scheduling, and—together with her team—orchestrates programs that transform schools and organizations and the lives of those associated with them. At her best, a CRANE is the glittery stuff of fairy tales.


And we are workhorses.

A CRANE is earnest and diligent, and he understands that raw talent means very little without reliable execution. So he drafts and revises and edits and proofs. Lays out and scales and color-corrects and crops. Researches and reads and strategizes and counsels. He pushes through long hours, contributes late nights, and occasionally surrenders his days off. And he does this willingly (and, when possible, cheerfully) because he accepts the sometimes-gritty underbelly of great work.

We are team-builders.

Ovations. Shout-outs. Rounds of applause. A CRANE shares these liberally, both in-house and with clients, along with heaping helpings of credit where credit is due. Her instincts are to pull with the team and celebrate with the group, but when a coworker stands out she knows to acknowledge it proudly—and gratefully, because she understands that individual triumphs buttress the success of the whole team.


And we are self-advocates.

Boundaries. Down-times. Soft work days and holiday office closures. To stay sharp, a CRANE needs these and he knows it. He takes time for self-care, nurtures a rich and fulfilling personal life, and returns to his work that much stronger for it.

We are true believers.

The Nest is filled with people who feel deeply and think hard, from a wide spectrum of backgrounds and perspectives, but a CRANE shares certain pivotal convictions with the rest of the team—that her clients are her touchstones, that her best work is done collaboratively, that good enough is never good enough. She brings these ideals to bear in every meeting, every conversation, and every program and helps ground the entire team’s work in our shared values.


And we are quick thinkers.

The Nest is also an environment where work (and days) move fast and priorities realign. While a CRANE always looks to integral values as a north star, he also has the flexibility to change tactics, kill darlings, and switch approaches as needs arise. At the heart of this fluidity is a commitment to meeting the needs of his clients, which change in real time, and to shoring up coworkers, organizations, and programs in the shifting sands of our fast-paced work.

We are thick-skinned and even-keeled.

We all have our moments—when a deadline approaches or feedback is tricky, when fatigue sets in and our opinions seem at loggerheads. But a CRANE has the rare ability to stay gracious and good-humored and to stand steady in the shifting sands of creative process and production calendars.  She embraces constructive criticism, extends empathy, and reconciles disagreements before they become conflicts. As a result of her poise, moments of turbulence fade into a more enduring grace and equanimity.


And we are warm-hearted and open-minded.

We relax in the security of a supportive and communal atmosphere. A CRANE works hard to help maintain a healthy company culture—through team-building exercises, personality tests, professional coaching, expert intervention, fun outings, lots of lunching, and a personal commitment to good will. He does what it takes to stay in pace with individual coworkers so CRANE can function optimally as a team. And he does it with respect, sincerity, and a complete absence of productive skepticism.

We are deadly serious.

A CRANE is a grown-up and a leader, one who meets deadlines, honors commitments, completes assignments, and keeps working until she gets it done—and does it right.


And we are seriously fun.

A CRANE might just as easily be a stand-up or a deadpan, who recognizes absurdity, pillories ego, mocks adversity, and keeps reveling in the joy of what we do until he gets it done—and does it with joy.