The World Meets at Camp Ketchum

July 23, 2011

As I walked outside for a breather — that on Mont Tremblant’s hottest day in 15 years was quite frankly more like trying to breathe through the heat than “fresh mountain air” – I happened upon four Campers with Camp Ketchum hoodies wrapped around their waists talking excitedly about the client challenge they had just been given. Passing them on the sidewalk, I noticed they represented our offices in Costa Rica, the U.S., the U.K. and India. I also realized that the campers – who had started out as names on the nomination forms, then lines on an Excel spreadsheet with their identifying practice and home office – had become new friends at Mont Tremblant.

When our CEO, Ray Kotcher, talks about Ketchum becoming a more globally integrated agency, I think this group is exactly what he means. During the opening remarks, Timo Sieg, the CEO of our European offices, pointed out that our 45% of our campers were from the U.S., while 55% came from elsewhere, and that this was the first time we had such demographic diversity at Camp Ketchum. We witnessed this during the class I co-headed about cultural norms and forming teams in our new, global environment – the mix in these sessions was amazing to see, with dialogue rich and sometimes charged with both conflict and discovery.

As the head of HR for Ketchum, of course I love to see our talent grow and develop. Camp has proven to be the rare event during which I get to watch our colleagues experience global integration firsthand and form relationships with people who live literally on the other side of the world – relationships that will not only enrich their personal lives and their business success, but will pay dividends in terms of true global integration for Ketchum and for the clients we serve. The counselors, most of whom attended Camp Ketchum at one time or another – all have fond memories of Camp. But they all agree they have never seen a more diverse, high-performing group, representative of the best we have to offer across the globe.

This is the future of Ketchum, people. Stand up and take notice. And get a global phone plan.