Position: Founder and President
Company: Emergent Method
Family: Wife Abbie and daughters Kate (10) and Emily (8)
Education: Bachelor of Science in finance, LSU
In the news:
Emergent Method, the Baton Rouge-based management consulting firm Nick Speyrer founded in 2012, ranked highest among local metro area companies that made Inc. magazine’s list of 5,000 fastest-growing U.S. businesses this year. The company generated $8.3 million in revenue in 2018—a 635% uptick since 2015—earning it the No. 686 rank on the list, up from No. 1,292 last year.
What was your very first job, how old were you and what was your biggest takeaway from the experience?
While it wasn’t a real job, my mom and dad both demanded and instilled in us the value of hard work. At a young age, there were things we were expected to do daily and weekly without exception—things like making our beds every morning, ironing our own clothes and deep cleaning our bedroom every Saturday morning, even if we spent the night somewhere else. This taught me personal responsibility and instilled a structure in my life that I still rely on today.
What time do you typically get up on a workday, and what’s your ideal morning routine to get it off to a great start?
My alarm is set for 5 a.m., but it rarely wakes me up. My day begins with reading scripture and a brief reflection, followed by a trip to the gym or a run around the LSU lakes. I eat a banana and granola bar every morning following my workout and then caffeinate. Lastly, I try to be in the office at least 30 minutes before my first meeting, usually around 7 a.m., so I can get organized for the day.
For those who are not familiar with Emergent Method, tell us a little bit about the company and who your clients are.
We are tough to describe—we aren’t a traditional consulting firm, we aren’t an agency, and we aren’t focused on one specific discipline or industry. We believe organizational challenges are multifaceted and can never be solved with a single tool or one specific expertise. So, over time, we have created a team of talented individuals with expertise and experience in strategic planning, human resources, strategic communications, design, technology, project management and more. Our approach to adding varied skillsets, as opposed to narrowly looking for expertise, has allowed us to offer a diverse set of services that are tailored to solving organizational challenges, which exist and persist within all sectors and regardless of an organization’s size or industry. Since we started the firm in 2012, we’ve had more than 150 clients in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors with projects ranging from a half-day projects to multi-year engagements.
Emergent Method was recently named one of the fastest-growing Baton Rouge companies on the Inc. 5000 list. Where is the company seeing the most growth? What has set Emergent Method apart from other management consulting firms?
We are seeing growth across all our business units and consulting disciplines. Our differentiator is that we are focused on building meaningful, trusted and lasting relationships with our clients. We want to be seen as their go-to partner and problem solver, supporting them in building high-level strategies and then serving as an extension of their team in execution and implementation. Our consulting engagements aren’t transactional—we take great pride in working with clients we care about and in areas or communities where our work can have a lasting, positive impact.
What’s a leadership skill you’ve learned the hard way?
One person can’t do it all, and the only way to scale is by being a responsible delegator. But it’s one that I’m still learning—and still have a long way to go. Just ask our team.
What’s something about your job or company that might surprise people?
We never had intentions of creating a large team. The original goal was to be a sole proprietor. Our growth was accidental and a function of sheer ambition and some really good luck, but we couldn’t be happier with the results so far.
How do you like to unwind after a particularly busy work day or work week?
I don’t think I have particularly busy days or weeks—they are all busy. At the end of the day, I just like going home to my family, and depending on the night, I might just enjoy a craft beer or a cocktail, and a cigar on Friday. I’m about as good at unwinding as I am at delegating.
What is your strategy for attracting and retaining top talent at your company?
We’re completely honest, upfront, and don’t sugarcoat it. This is hard work. We’ve built a team of exceptional talent who demand excellence from one another, because our clients expect the same. The passion we all have for our work is apparent—and we look to add team members who have similar professional desires and personal values who are driven by the relentless pursuit of success. We take time to make sure we’ve got the right fit for our team and our clients.
What’s the greatest personal or professional obstacle you’ve had to overcome, and how did you do it?
I fell into the workaholic trap and was completely consumed with the business, blindly focused on achieving success. I woke up one day and realized I had put everything I had into my work and hadn’t invested much time in relationships with my family and friends. I had an awakening of sorts at a Catholic retreat during the spring of 2018, at which point I learned I’m not in control, to be more vulnerable and to put my faith in Christ. It’s still a work in progress, but I’m much more balanced than I once was.
You’ve been asked to put together a short playlist of about five songs at a party. What are we going to hear?
“Millionaire” by Chris Stapleton, “Tupelo Honey” by Wayne Toups (can you believe Van Morrison stole it from him?), “Calling Baton Rouge” by Garth Brooks, “I Won’t Back Down” by Tom Petty, and “Tennessee Whiskey” by Chris Stapleton.
What is something you are absolutely determined to do in life?
I’m determined to make an impact and be the best version of myself for my family, friends and community.