Our Leadership

Bud Caddell
Founder & Managing Director, LA

Bud Caddell is the Founder of NOBL and has been focused on systems design for over 15 years. Bud was undeniably born a nerd and by the time he was 10 was developing software, and at 17 was the lead engineer at a Venture-backed startup. 

His career path ultimately led him to management consulting and digital strategy. Bud went on to be named "one of the most creative people under 30" by Business Insider. AdWeek listed Bud among the top 50 industry professionals of 2012, and The Guardian named him as one of ten digital strategists to watch in 2012. Prior to NOBL Collective, Bud was a partner at the management and strategic consultancy, Undercurrent, heading its Los Angeles office. He also served as SVP of Digital Strategy and Innovation at Deutsch LA. His work has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and AdAge.

Bree Groff
Managing Director, NYC

Bree Groff started her career in education, helping schools become places where students are empowered to share their best selves and best work with the world; where learning is personal, essential, and best done with others in pursuit of wildly ambitious goals.

Now, Bree does the same for Fortune 500 companies as the Managing Director of NOBL’s NYC practice. Previously, Bree was the Director of Innovation at Flint Hill, a Senior Service Designer at Peer Insight, and a psychology researcher at eHarmony and the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, exploring communication and decision making. She holds a BA in Psychology and Biology from the University of Pennsylvania and an MS in Organizational Learning and Change from Northwestern University. 

AT WORK: Helping teams articulate their feelings about change with famous cats from the internet (this one's apathy).

AT WORK: Helping teams articulate their feelings about change with famous cats from the internet (this one's apathy).



Meaningful Work is a Basic Human Right

NOBL (pronounced no·bell) is an organizational design firm. We support the creativity and capability of teams and advocate for universal access to meaningful work.

We started this company because work, as we know it, is limiting the collective creativity and capability of teams. The world is flatter, faster, and more connected than ever before, yet most of us are stuck still using organizational forms designed for a bygone era. 

A quick history lesson: Everything about the modern organization, from its matrix structure to the role of its managers, exists because of the national railroad that connected the East and West of North America in the first decades of the 20th century. This new railroad meant that companies could source and sell their products across vast distances, which required new forms of organizational complexity. The factories of the Industrial Revolution and the Ma-and-Pa stores that sold their goods evolved into much more complicated organizations with names like Dupont, GM, and Sears and Roebuck. As the U.S. became more connected, the rest of the world soon followed. 

Today, of course, the world is even more connected thanks to the Internet and digital revolution. Even though so much has changed about how we can work, very little has actually changed at work. It's like we're trying to binge-watch House of Cards on Netflix still using a dial-up modem. It's a maddening experience and it shows. 

How we work deserves a redesign based on today's complexity and opportunities. Yet, it's challenging for teams to break out of the status quo when they already feel over-extended, under-staffed, and perennially behind schedule. Our mission, in support of meaningful work, is to make the future of work immediately practical and universally accessible for those teams. 



Quick Facts:

  • 68% of employees are disengaged at work.
  • 50% of employees quit because of a bad manager.
  • 31 hours per employee, per month, are wasted in unproductive meetings.
  • 15 years since white-collar productivity has increased in the U.S..
  • 50% of millennials expect on the job career training.

Sources: GallupEntrepreneur.comBentley UniversityPayscale.comOxford Martin

AT WORK: NY has a team cat. Her name is Ava, or affectionately known as Mrs. Fluffersworth. Yes, Mrs. Fluffersworth.

AT WORK: NY has a team cat. Her name is Ava, or affectionately known as Mrs. Fluffersworth. Yes, Mrs. Fluffersworth.


Our Values

What We Stand For

  1. Do no harm. We exist to help people, not to treat them like ants in our private ant farm. The partners we help are not petri dishes.
  2. Team as we preach. Nobody wants to be a hypocrite. We won't recommend a new behavior unless we have tried it and found it to be beneficial.
  3. Never let a learning go unshared. We move quickly, but we always make time to share what we've learned with each other and often, with the wider world.

To us, values are more than nicely strung together words on a website or wall. Our values determine who we hire and what behaviors we reward. They keep us together in the face of uncertainty and they restrict us when there are easier but less savory options to be exploited. They cost us something and yet they give us so much more. We hope that our clients and our new partners continually question whether the values stated here truly govern our behavior. We keep the list short on purpose; we want fewer but more critical values defined for our business.

AT WORK: LA has a team dog. Her name is Etta James. Dogs don't require cute names.

AT WORK: LA has a team dog. Her name is Etta James. Dogs don't require cute names.


Our Namesake

"The Merchant of Death is Dead"

Dr. Alfred Nobel, who became rich by finding ways to kill more people faster than ever before, died yesterday.
— French Newspapers

The year was 1888. A French newspaper ran an obituary for Dr. Alfred Nobel, a man of enormous wealth and reputation – namely for the invention of dynamite. The headline read, "The Merchant of Death is Dead."

The man reading the obituary was Dr. Alfred Nobel, himself.

The paper confused Alfred for his brother Ludvig, who had just died. Thanks to this error, Alfred Nobel got a rare opportunity to see how the world would portray his life and remember his legacy.

Six years later, when Alfred’s life did end, his heirs and peers were shocked to find that, in his revised final will and testament, he had dedicated his vast wealth to the creation of a new prize for humanity. It sought to reward achievement across the sciences and liberal arts that were in pursuit of “the greatest benefit on mankind.”

Most of us will never have the luxury of a fortune to bequeath, but like Nobel, we can take stock of our legacy while we still have time to influence it. We chose to honor Alfred Nobel when we named our firm because we wanted our name to be a persistent reminder to evaluate our actions in the light of how others would remember us and how we would leave the world in our wake.

We hope to inspire leaders and train their teams in the dogged pursuit of a positive legacy that can outlive us all.

Oh, and your first day as a NOBL employee includes writing your own obituary.