NOBL (pronounced no-bell) was founded in 2014 to help leaders make change.
As a group of in-demand innovation consultants, we saw two equally maddening situations. In our Fortune 500 clients we saw countless new ideas die in committee because of dysfunction, fear, and toxic short-term incentives. Yet in our high-growth startups we saw exponential growth divide cultures, corrupt values, and destroy profitability. Both the titans of industry and the darlings of disruption faced equal internal challenges. After years of helping clients imagine the future, we realized that they needed help foremost in the present.
If our clients wanted to change the world, they needed to also change how they worked. Thus, NOBL was born.
Bud Caddell, Founder
Bud Caddell is the Founder of NOBL and has been focused on systems design for over 15 years. Bud grew up obsessed with technology, even serving as the Head of Technology at a venture-funded startup before he entered college.
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 as a top industry professional, and The Guardian named him as one of ten digital strategists to watch.
Prior to NOBL Collective, Bud was a Partner at the management and strategic consultancy, Undercurrent. 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, CEO
Bree Groff is the CEO of NOBL and has been focused on organizational design, organizational change, and innovation for over a decade. She has advised leaders at companies as varied as Calvin Klein, Intel, AARP, Capital One, and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and is known internationally for her thought leadership on designing organizations that thrive amidst change.
Previously, Bree founded and led an Innovation Department, advised Fortune 500 companies as an Innovation Consultant, and explored communication, decision-making, and interpersonal chemistry as a Psychology Researcher.
She holds an MS in Organizational Learning and Change from Northwestern University and continues to lecture at Northwestern on strategy and decision-making.
The name of our company was inspired by Alfred Nobel and the legendary origin of the Nobel Prize.
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 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.”
By taking inspiration from the name of Alfred Nobel, we remind ourselves that our time is limited and our legacy accumulates whether or not we are conscious of it. We challenge ourselves and our clients to leave behind a conscious positive legacy.
We team as we preach. We will never introduce a new way of working that we haven't already practiced on ourselves. We carry the burden of constant self-reflection and experimentation so that we can be confident advisors.
We never let a learning go unshared. Our ability to serve our clients is dependent on our ability to learn from one another and our experiences. We even ritualize this by meeting internally every Friday, across all regions, to share everything we've learned that week.
Kindness is our killer feature. Our clients are under immense pressure and the nature of our own work is challenging. We give one another the benefit of kindness, compassion, and curiosity.